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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #561
CrazyAboutCities
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I just looked at that video of light rail testing... WOW! Not bad! Its seen like very slow moving trains... I understand that is just testing... I'm sure it will go little faster when it opens to the public.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 11:01 PM   #562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
I didn't know that. Indeed, it couldn't... wait, I think I remember a discussion about what to do with the property. Vaguely. Maybe. I don't remember at all. But I seem to have been mistaken in any case.
How strange. I just don't entirely understand... because in the old tunnel, the bus routes would lead the buses out of the tunnel through the Convention Place terminus. However... what will be the case with the new tunnel and the Pine street stub?

I've sent a short query to Sound Transit about it. Hopefully, they can address this issue. Or maybe I'm just making too big a deal out of it.


Not to worry, the trains will be able to achieve a more efficient speed once the tracks are completely inspected and ready to go. But in downtown, due to the close proximity of the stations and just the small width of the tunnels, I'd logically expect a "safer" speed.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #563
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There was some confusion a while back about the total money for the November transportation initiative as well as the division between roads and transit. I've finally found some definitive numbers from an article in the Seattle Times (which you can find here and is about Mercer Island's reaction to the east link part).

"Phase 2 comes with a $9.8 billion price tag, which will be included in a $16.5 billion Regional Transportation Investment District highway package slated for the ballot in November..."

So, rather than the 11 billion figure which I thought it was, it's only 9.8 for the transit portion, but 16.5 billion for the whole thing. That's a lot of money, but we get a lot out of it. 42 new miles of light rail! (Not to mention some desperately needed highway projects.)
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Old April 18th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #564
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Ok, why didn't ST just add an extra billion to the price tag so we can get the bellevue tunnel AND redmond extension? I hate how they're making us choose between the two because of bad budgeting. It's gonna divide everybody in some long and bitter drawn out decision process that's gonna screw one city or the other. Seriously, just add the billion. I don't think people will notice...
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Old April 18th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #565
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You have an excellent point. When we're talking about 16 billion dollars, another billion isn't much more. The proposed tax increase is .5 of 1 percent on the sales tax.

And not only can we get to Redmond properly, but we can get all the way to the Tacoma Dome instead of relying on a maybe surplus. And we could extend the Tacoma Link system down 6th too.

Oh, but there's the sub-area equity monkey wrench... Darn, guess we'll just have to go farther north now too.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #566
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I got a couple things. First is just a news release from Sound Transit. Basically it's just affirmation on the legislator's part for tying transit and roads together.

The second item is a little more contentious. It's an article that appeared in the Seattle Times this morning. Front page and center, so it's going to gather some interest. You can click here to go to the article.

The reason the money has been spread out over various projects across the region is to gather enough voter support to pass the measure. John Ladenburg (ST chair and Pierce County executive) says this very well near the end of the article. He also brings up the great point that after first wanting RTID and to combine roads and transit, now these same law makers are "second-guessing" the process.

I'm sick of all this political griping that takes place in the region. It's why we are behind of Portland and Vancouver B.C. in this arena. Let's do something for a change. Continued dissenting rhetoric will only stagnant us further and undermine our regional mobility and accessibility. It will only cost more the longer we put it off. And it's this kind of feet-dragging we're seeing in this article from these lawmakers. On one hand, they don't want to fund a whole project at once such as the Viaduct or 520 because it's too expensive and will cause too much environmental disruption. On the other hand, they don't want to partially fund a project either because then, what's the point?

You can't have both worlds and this leads to the stagnation. Stand up, get the ball rolling and shut up. Let's get moving again shall we?
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Last edited by Jaxom92; April 20th, 2007 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Grammar Error
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Old April 20th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #567
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I agree. I don't really think that we really need to wide any highway in The Puget Sound region... If we do... It will continue encouraging more and more traffics for future growth. I think we should just focus on Sound Transit 2 & 3 (if possible), replace Alaskan Viaduct and Evengreen bridge. These are high priority projects to do than widing any highways. I don't want Puget Sound to be another ugly Los Angeles with mega freeways with more than 8 lanes. We should encourage more and more public transit systems to get built. I think it is great investment for Puget Sound.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #568
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A great investment indeed, but the citizens of the region need to be behind it too. Sound Transit says they are, based on the reaction from numerous public outreach sessions. I hope so, and hope that this naysaying is just antsy politicians.

But, again, if the people that will be using the transit investments don't use them, it'll fail and we'll be back to the freeways again. While it's somewhat perverse to say that it's "good" that gas prices are rising, it is if you're looking for motivation to use transit more than your personal automobile. I don't like the idea of paying 3 plus dollars per gallon to fill up my car any more than the next guy, but part of me knows that if gas prices do continue to rise, or stagnate at a high price, they'll be some motivation to invest in and use transit services.

We as a region (and as a country) have a long way to go before we have as excellent transit networks as in Europe, but I think in the long run, we'll have to get there. Oil is a finite resource, so in some respects, even this depressing idea has a silver lining. At that point, the cost of transit won't look so "bad."
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Old April 20th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #569
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Good points. I predict more and more Americans will be forced to give up on driving if gas costs skyrocketing unless if they are willing to buy electric or different type of fuel system vehicles... They might end up having to use public transit whether they likes it or not.

Be glad, more and more US cities are starting to building new public transit system lately... I know it is not that great as Portland or New York City yet but they're getting there... I expect Seattle to do the same thing as well.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:08 AM   #570
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Paving is continuing along MLK Way:



The light rail alignment is visible along the center. I don't know specifically where this is at along the route, but I imagine it's just after Mt. Baker station.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 05:08 AM   #571
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^Yikes!

The weakest link.

We'll see how that goes. Sure looks narrow.

(Does anyone know the auto traffic load on MLK in vehicles/hour past a point or total vehicle-miles traveled per route mile, by chance?)

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Old April 21st, 2007, 07:59 AM   #572
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It's one of the major north-south surface street corridors in the city, so probably fairly high. I did a cursory inspection of the transportation documents in Seattle's comprehensive plan and didn't see traffic volume figures. LOS numbers though, but I didn't note them.

Incidentally, MLK way has the highest pedestrian-vehicle accident rate in the city. The hope is that the Light rail alignment will reduce that number with all the safety improvements. I believe they're will be a positive buffer between the tracks and the lanes of traffic, like a low fence or something, and Z-shaped crossings to maximize train awareness.

I think part of the narrowness you're seeing is the incompleteness as well as the perspective of the photo.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:22 AM   #573
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so I was heading out of town today, going to seatac airport and drove by the line... It was amazing!!!!!!!! it looks so cool, the tukwila station is almost done and uhhhh I just cant wait to ride on these trains!!!!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 04:04 AM   #574
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I'm right there with you guinessbeer55. I plan to have a video recording device of some kind that's of relatively good quality in order to record my first trip along the entire length of the line. I'll probably upload it to youtube as well. And if there's any sort of grand opening ceremony open to the public, I'm there.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #575
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There sure is a lot happening with "transportation" in Seattle. In the next 2-3 years we will see light rail and the opening of Sea-Tac's third runway. Plus, the on-going Viaduct and 520 issues...never boring!
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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:46 AM   #576
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And streetcars!
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Old April 24th, 2007, 04:50 AM   #577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
There sure is a lot happening with "transportation" in Seattle. In the next 2-3 years we will see light rail and the opening of Sea-Tac's third runway. Plus, the on-going Viaduct and 520 issues...never boring!
2007 is also going to be the busiest summer road construction season. Good thing I don't drive so much in the summer.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #578
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It should be boring--it's usually more economical than cut-and-cover these days.

Yeah, I know, over-used joke...

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Old April 25th, 2007, 05:22 AM   #579
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OK, that took me a few seconds...haha
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Old April 27th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #580
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Okay, so the ST board just "completed it's list of projects" for ST2, the upcoming November vote. There's a news release you can view here.

What I'm most excited about is the implications within the language of this news item. First, "[The] Sound Transit 2 package will build 50 new miles of light rail..." This particular figure of 50 miles is four miles more than the previously touted new miles. So, the question becomes, where are those extra miles going?

The clue lies just a few paragraphs down: "To the south the system would extend through Des Moines, Federal Way and Fife to the Tacoma Dome, connecting with the existing Tacoma Link light rail system."

Now this has me immensely excited because I've always thought it was absolutely foolish not to build the last two miles (as measured on Google Earth) from the Port of Tacoma Rd and the Tacoma Link terminus. It seems now that this section is no longer "priority funding" and will be built.

So, we are left with an extra two miles somewhere... unless the millage is measured twice due to double tracking... which doesn't precisely make sense, but I don't know ST's conventions on this matter. However, there's no indication in the release of where the other two miles are going, so it's highly probable it's added onto the East Link or North Link section.

Anyhow, the official approval of this package will happen on May 24th, and at that time I imagine they'll be some detailed documents on the specifics. For now, this is what we got.
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