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Old December 8th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #1681
greg_christine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
The monorail wasn't built as a true city commuter, was it?
Which monorail? There is the Seattle Center Monorail (A.K.A. Seattle World's Fair Monorail) that was built as a local area people mover system to carry people about 1 mile between downtown Seattle and the World's Fair site:



There was a plan to build the 14-mile Green Line Monorail from Ballard through downtown to West Seattle. The project was terminated by the voters in 2005 following much controversy over the route, the configuration of the guideway, and funding problems:

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Old December 8th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #1682
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awwww, i miss it!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 01:51 AM   #1683
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Any other renderings?

Is the Light Rail still scheduled to open in June 2009? It seems like a bit of a long time for testing, considering the line will be completely built in the spring. Are all the platform/stations done?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 01:55 AM   #1684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
The monorail wasn't built as a true city commuter, was it?
I am talking about the recent proposal, not the world's fair toy.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #1685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
Any other renderings?

Is the Light Rail still scheduled to open in June 2009? It seems like a bit of a long time for testing, considering the line will be completely built in the spring. Are all the platform/stations done?
Spring 2009, maybe - construction still has a year to go. Major concrete construction is nearly done, sure, but signals and communication systems won't be done for some time. End to end testing is also a lot more involved for a system that can eventually support over 100 vehicles per base than something like the streetcar - and even the streetcar had a month of testing.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 02:08 AM   #1686
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Green Line Monorail
- Original Budget and Schedule
$1.75 billion for a 14-mile line to open between 2007 and 2009
- Total Cost and Schedule based on Pending Contract with Cascadia Monorail
$2.016 billion for a 14-mile line to open in 2009

The project was only about 15% over budget and was arguably on schedule. The situation on the finance side was worse due to a 30% shortfall in revenue from the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) that was to fund the project.
Actually, that 1.75 billion was at least .25 billion over the bonding capacity of the agency (it was a huge overrun from the ~1.2 billion they estimated before Citizen Petition No. 1 in 2002) - and the station locations were never even finalized, much less engineered. Construction cost inflation would have hit the monorail just as hard as it's hit Link, except that the SMP never, ever admitted that they needed better padding and emergency funds. That's why they had a junk bond rating...
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Old December 9th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #1687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I am talking about the recent proposal, not the world's fair toy.
Haha toy. I can't believe I forgot about that monorail proposal! But I remember that they had some issues with right of way didn't they?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #1688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
Actually, that 1.75 billion was at least .25 billion over the bonding capacity of the agency (it was a huge overrun from the ~1.2 billion they estimated before Citizen Petition No. 1 in 2002) - and the station locations were never even finalized, much less engineered. Construction cost inflation would have hit the monorail just as hard as it's hit Link, except that the SMP never, ever admitted that they needed better padding and emergency funds. That's why they had a junk bond rating...
The text of Citizen Petition No. 1 can be found here:

http://www.elevated.org/_downloads/board/petition1.pdf

The measures states only a debt limit of $1.5 billion in 2002 dollars.

A description of the pending Cascadia Monorail contract can be found here:

http://www.elevated.org/project/repo...overview_4.asp

It was a fixed-price design/build contract for $1.615 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars or $1.35 billion in 2005 dollars. The financial plans included reserves of $285 million for contingencies.

Regarding deferred stations in the pending contract with Cascadia Monorail, there were three: Avalon, Elliott/Mercer, and Blaine. A fourth station was in question because it was the site of the Federal Reserve Bank, which was slated for closure but was not yet available. Not only were station sites defined but most of the land had already been procured or was in the process of being procured when the project was terminated.

The Central Link light rail line has had a similar history with deferred stations. The Stadium/Royal Brougham Station was deferred until 2005 when it was determined that there were sufficient funds to build it. The Boeing Access Road Station remains deferred. The First Hill Station has been deleted from the plan due to it not being biuldable due to a combination of its depth underground and poor soil conditions.

Returning to the original point, the monorail authority was wrong in its cost estimates and made other mistakes in its planning; however, the similar problems occurred in the Central Link light rail project. Cost estimates for light rail can be just as wrong as cost estimates for any other technology.

Last edited by greg_christine; December 9th, 2007 at 05:26 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #1689
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Without passing judgment on what constitutes a toy, the following are some specifications for various transit vehicles used or considered for Seattle:

======================================================================================

Ansaldobreda Articulated Dual Power Bus

Length: 61.2 ft.
Width: 8.5 ft.
Maximum Speed in Diesel Mode: 55 mph
Maximum Speed in Electric Mode: 40 mph
Number of Seats: 63

======================================================================================

Skoda-Inekon Astra (South Lake Union Streetcar)

Length: 66 ft.
Width: 8 ft.
Maximum Speed: 47 mph
Operating Speed: 31 mph
Number of Seats: 41 (Double-ended cars have fewer seats.)

======================================================================================

Kinkisharyo Light Rail Vehicle (Central Link)

Length: 95 ft.
Width: 8.7 ft.
Maximum Speed: 65 mph
Operating Speed: 55 mph
Number of Seats: 74
Can operate in trains of up to four vehicles.

======================================================================================

Alweg Monorail (1962 World’s Fair/Seattle Center Monorail)

Length: 122 ft.
Width: 10.25 ft.
Maximum Speed: 70 mph
Operating Speed: 50 mph
Number of Seats: 124

======================================================================================

Hitachi Standard Type Monorail (Proposed for Green Line)

Length: 107 ft.
Width: 9.5 ft.
Maximum Operating Speed: 50 mph
Number of Seats: 70

======================================================================================

Last edited by greg_christine; December 9th, 2007 at 06:36 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #1690
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i didn't realize the streetcars went that fast. i thought the operations speeds were going to be more in the range of 20 mph but i am also in the middle of finals week so i may be losing my mind... ;-)
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #1691
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Also, everyone here should take this survey about what to do post-prop 1 from Sound Transit. Help to define the next ballot measure! Give them a piece of your mind!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?...n8BHnc8cW2k%3d
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Old December 10th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #1692
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for some reason i cant make a direct link-

there is a link here under "news & issues"
http://www.downtownseattle.com/
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Old December 10th, 2007, 01:14 AM   #1693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The text of Citizen Petition No. 1 can be found here:

http://www.elevated.org/_downloads/board/petition1.pdf

The measures states only a debt limit of $1.5 billion in 2002 dollars.

A description of the pending Cascadia Monorail contract can be found here:

http://www.elevated.org/project/repo...overview_4.asp

It was a fixed-price design/build contract for $1.615 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars or $1.35 billion in 2005 dollars. The financial plans included reserves of $285 million for contingencies.

Regarding deferred stations in the pending contract with Cascadia Monorail, there were three: Avalon, Elliott/Mercer, and Blaine. A fourth station was in question because it was the site of the Federal Reserve Bank, which was slated for closure but was not yet available. Not only were station sites defined but most of the land had already been procured or was in the process of being procured when the project was terminated.

The Central Link light rail line has had a similar history with deferred stations. The Stadium/Royal Brougham Station was deferred until 2005 when it was determined that there were sufficient funds to build it. The Boeing Access Road Station remains deferred. The First Hill Station has been deleted from the plan due to it not being biuldable due to a combination of its depth underground and poor soil conditions.

Returning to the original point, the monorail authority was wrong in its cost estimates and made other mistakes in its planning; however, the similar problems occurred in the Central Link light rail project. Cost estimates for light rail can be just as wrong as cost estimates for any other technology.
You're right that both were fairly similar. The thing is, light rail is happening, in part due to the fact that 2001 planning *was* able to plan for cost overruns, and the SMP did not. I think that has a lot to do with the overall practical nature of light rail versus the wide-eyed, ideological support for "MONORAIL". Seriously, the moment they started talking about all the things that monorail could do that light rail "couldn't" (like be elevated), it was over.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #1694
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their monorail looks great but I never got a chance ride it last year because it was down multiple times for god knows how long because of the problems
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Old December 11th, 2007, 01:14 AM   #1695
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Hmmm, I just realized: the monorail hasn't been screwing up in a while...
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Old December 11th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #1696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
You're right that both were fairly similar. The thing is, light rail is happening, in part due to the fact that 2001 planning *was* able to plan for cost overruns, and the SMP did not. I think that has a lot to do with the overall practical nature of light rail versus the wide-eyed, ideological support for "MONORAIL". Seriously, the moment they started talking about all the things that monorail could do that light rail "couldn't" (like be elevated), it was over.
Yes, Central Link and the Green Line monorail had similar problems. My opinion is that the major difference that saved Central Link was the support from key politicians. The mayor of Seattle sits on the Sound Transit board and has been a strong supporter of Central Link. The mayor forced the fifth vote on the Green Line monorail, which terminated the project.

When the Green Line monorail was terminated, many thought it would be quickly supplanted by a plan to bring branches of the Central Link light rail system to Ballard and West Seattle. This has not happened. Following the termination of the Green Line monorail project, I joined a small group that lobbied the Sound Transit board and the Seattle city council to pursue building a branch of Central Link from Lander Station to West Seattle. Given the plans to tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the idea of building a branch of Central Link to West Seattle seemed like a sure winner. The only official pronouncement that I ever heard regarding the idea was a statement by the deputy mayor that the West Seattle bridge is not suitable for light rail.

Regarding the route north from downtown to Ballard, the city of Seattle performed a study in 2001 that concluded that "elevated" is the best option and that an at-grade system would be too slow < http://www.cityofseattle.net/transpo...ict_stage2.htm >. The recent proposal for multiple streetcar lines in the city of Seattle includes a map that shows the waterfront streetcar line terminating in a northward pointing arrow suggesting that it could be extended to Ballard. This is an interesting proposal given that it is exactly what the city didn't recommend in the 2001 study. It is interesting to note that there is no similar suggestion that a streetcar line could be extended to West Seattle.

One idea that has been proposed for extending light rail to Ballard is to branch off of the main trunk of Central Link in the University District and reach Ballard via Fremont. This gets around the problem that there is no natural at-grade route for light rail through the northern part of the downtown area and across the ship canal. It would be the least expensive option; however, it would result in a much longer travel time and lower ridership.

The Green Line monorail's route through downtown went through Seattle Center:



All the permanent tenants of Seattle Center supported the route; however, the organizers of the annual festivals opposed it due to noise concerns. It is hard to imagine an elevated light rail line taking a similar route, especially given the noise concerns. I don't think we will be seeing light rail trains running through the slot in the EMP.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 03:09 AM   #1697
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A West Link Line definitly needs to be built along a similar line as the proposed monorail route. I think what they need to do is a cut and cover tunnel along 5th Ave from Westlake Center to Seattle Center and simply remove the old monorail line. Then have the line come out somewhere after Seattle Center and have the rest of the line a mix of surface and aerial routes up to at least Market Street, but preferably up to Crown Hill.

As for going south on the West link line, they could just do an aerial route parallel to the West Seattle bridge if the bridge itself will not support such a line. Then run the line down California or Fountleroy all the way to the Vashon ferry terminal.

It makes WAY more sense to build a line like this then to extend the central link line south to Tacoma. Other than the North Link extension, I would think a west line would get a better ridership than anyother proposed route. This line could be built in 10 years (assuming we don't have to vote on it 5 times).
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Old December 11th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #1698
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHeadMaster View Post
A West Link Line definitly needs to be built along a similar line as the proposed monorail route. I think what they need to do is a cut and cover tunnel along 5th Ave from Westlake Center to Seattle Center and simply remove the old monorail line. Then have the line come out somewhere after Seattle Center and have the rest of the line a mix of surface and aerial routes up to at least Market Street, but preferably up to Crown Hill.

As for going south on the West link line, they could just do an aerial route parallel to the West Seattle bridge if the bridge itself will not support such a line. Then run the line down California or Fountleroy all the way to the Vashon ferry terminal.

It makes WAY more sense to build a line like this then to extend the central link line south to Tacoma. Other than the North Link extension, I would think a west line would get a better ridership than anyother proposed route. This line could be built in 10 years (assuming we don't have to vote on it 5 times).
5th avenue might not be a great idea - would you go under the bus tunnel? How would you cut across to serve Belltown?

Remember, Sound Transit is a regional agency with subarea equity. If they taxed the North King subarea for such a system, they'd have to tax equally for each other subarea. In my opinion, that's the best possible change that could be made to Sound Transit - allowing them to propose packages by subarea, so they could have a .5% ST2 package for North and East King alone.

What "makes sense" and what's legal are often different.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #1699
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This would connect to the bus/light rail tunnel at the Westlake station and use the downtown tunnel and stations already in place. For Belltown you would just have a station at 5th and Bell. Not a perfect location, but this would be the same location as the belltown stop on the monorail green line. Another option would be to send the tunnel down third since thats the road most of the bus tunnel is already traveling under with a stop at third and bell and a stop between key arena and the pacific science center before dropping down to elliot ave and around to interbay and onto Ballard. If the line continued on to West Seattle, then it would not stop at Westlake if it traveled under third ave, but would stop at the rest of the downtown stations.

I have no idea of such a route is possible (legally, economically, or engineering wise), but a line serving Ballard and West Seattle would be desirable.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHeadMaster View Post
This would connect to the bus/light rail tunnel at the Westlake station and use the downtown tunnel and stations already in place. For Belltown you would just have a station at 5th and Bell. Not a perfect location, but this would be the same location as the belltown stop on the monorail green line. Another option would be to send the tunnel down third since thats the road most of the bus tunnel is already traveling under with a stop at third and bell and a stop between key arena and the pacific science center before dropping down to elliot ave and around to interbay and onto Ballard. If the line continued on to West Seattle, then it would not stop at Westlake if it traveled under third ave, but would stop at the rest of the downtown stations.

I have no idea of such a route is possible (legally, economically, or engineering wise), but a line serving Ballard and West Seattle would be desirable.
A line serving Ballard and West Seattle is indeed desirable - but we have a lot more need for lines serving Northgate and Bellevue.

The transit tunnel turns east just before Westlake - a line under 3rd breaking off of the tunnel would miss that stop (although this could be handled with a platform a block north and an underground connection).

Adding more service to that line is likely a non-starter, though. Once East Link and North Link get built (which could be a while), you're already going to be interlining two heavy use lines for those stations. The Sound Transit long range plan shows that just with the Everett-Tacoma light rail spine, East Link, and the Issaquah spur - all of which will just keep coming back until we say yes - we'll have 2.4 minute headways downtown, and that's too low to add another heavy use line to the same tracks.
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