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Old December 12th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #1701
Tcmetro
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The West Seattle RapidRide will run through the tunnel and the busway. The Ballard and W Seattle RapidRide is the successor to the SMP.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #1702
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That's only interim though; I am not aware of any specialized right-of-way for transit in West Seattle (or most of it), plus congestion along Spokane Street, so that would be a really slow bus ride (even with transit-priority signals).

And light rail service to outer suburbs of Seattle must be accomplished first. West Seattle already has plenty of transit options (ferries, buses, etc.) and good access to Seattle. Other places like the Eastside or Snohomish County/Everett doesn't have frequent and effective enough transit services, and access to those places from Seattle are heavily clogged with no relief in sight, UNLESS we build light rail to those places first.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #1703
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West Seattle really isn't connected to Seattle well. The only way to get there is by passenger only feey (summer only), or the West Seattle bridge. Snohomish Cty and the Eastside, and South King County aren't well connected either. Come to think of it Seattle isn't connected well at all. LINK should have three main lines on both the north and south sides of Seattle, and one line through the core, as well as a crosstown line. Too bad no LRT tracks will intially be put on the 520 bridge when it is rebuilt. It will be one of the poorest investments in Seattle's history.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:01 AM   #1704
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West Seattle really isn't connected to Seattle well. The only way to get there is by passenger only feey (summer only), or the West Seattle bridge. Snohomish Cty and the Eastside, and South King County aren't well connected either. Come to think of it Seattle isn't connected well at all. LINK should have three main lines on both the north and south sides of Seattle, and one line through the core, as well as a crosstown line. Too bad no LRT tracks will intially be put on the 520 bridge when it is rebuilt. It will be one of the poorest investments in Seattle's history.
Uh... no, it won't. Building LRT on 520 before building it on 90 would be awful - you'd get passengers trying to transfer from the eastside line to already packed trains at Husky Stadium, rather than having the two MAIN commuter lines come in from different ends of downtown (as East Link would do). The 520 rebuild includes pontoons that can handle later rail addition - the overlap in construction costs is negligible.

What needs to happen first is Northgate and Bellevue/Redmond - those places are vastly more in need than West Seattle. That's why Sound Transit was building those lines first.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:03 AM   #1705
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The West Seattle RapidRide will run through the tunnel and the busway. The Ballard and W Seattle RapidRide is the successor to the SMP.
It will run through the tunnel for a few years, but be kicked out as light rail service increases. That will add to its on-time performance, but it is no successor to a grade separated system - it is only, as taiwanesedrummer said, an interim solution.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:03 AM   #1706
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Agreed about Seattle to Northgate and Seattle to Bellevue first before West Seattle and Ballard. I would say to West Seattle and Ballard before Tacoma tho.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #1707
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Agreed about Seattle to Northgate and Seattle to Bellevue first before West Seattle and Ballard. I would say to West Seattle and Ballard before Tacoma tho.
Yeah, Tacoma already has great transit service, from several buses to frequent (peak-commute) Sounder service. If I could plan an ST2 plan, i'd say outer suburbs first, then local neighborhoods (of Seattle).

Remember, it's all (or most of it) about subarea equity
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Old December 12th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #1708
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Snohomish County has good bus service too. Pierce County is just more urban. Sno. Cty. has many 15 minute routes, and express buses, and will have BRT soon. I think Community Transit is doing a better job than Pierce Transit (most routes are 30 min+ frequencies).
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Old December 12th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #1709
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Agreed about Seattle to Northgate and Seattle to Bellevue first before West Seattle and Ballard. I would say to West Seattle and Ballard before Tacoma tho.
Subarea equity. We don't have a choice, regionally, about going south at the same time we go north and east. Sound Transit is bound by state law to tax the same rate throughout the region and keep each part of the region's dollars in that same part.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #1710
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Snohomish County has good bus service too. Pierce County is just more urban. Sno. Cty. has many 15 minute routes, and express buses, and will have BRT soon. I think Community Transit is doing a better job than Pierce Transit (most routes are 30 min+ frequencies).
It's not really one agency "doing better" than another - Pierce Transit is really the equivalent of CT + Everett Transit, so they manage their money differently. Pierce and Snohomish also have very different urban layouts - much of Snohomish is in a few small centers and then along a major north-south corridor; it's relatively easy to serve compared to Pierce.

Again, Sound Transit is legally bound to tax the same rate in Snohomish and spend that money too.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #1711
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Yeah, Tacoma already has great transit service, from several buses to frequent (peak-commute) Sounder service. If I could plan an ST2 plan, i'd say outer suburbs first, then local neighborhoods (of Seattle).

Remember, it's all (or most of it) about subarea equity
Yes, yes it is. If you could plan an ST2 plan, you would probably (once you were really abreast of all the issues) make exactly the same ST2 plan that was on the ballot.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #1712
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Well, not EXACTLY the same


Here's a link to photos of the Central Link by benagain_photos. MLK looks like a sea of concrete

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benagai...7603427409998/

Check it out!
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Old December 14th, 2007, 08:21 AM   #1713
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MLK looks like a sea of concrete
As opposed to what it was before?
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Old December 14th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #1714
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http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...station14.html

Friday, December 14, 2007
Last updated 12:08 a.m. PT

Light rail station plans for UW unveiled
Most of facility will be located underground
By DEBERA CARLTON HARRELL
P-I REPORTER

Sound Transit has unveiled its plans for a light rail station at the University of Washington, moving ahead with University Link amid unresolved designs for the Evergreen Point Bridge and Husky Stadium.

In recent public open houses held at the UW, Sound Transit displayed an architectural model showing the multilevel light rail station proposed for the west side of Husky Stadium along Montlake Boulevard Northeast.

"University Station is planned, funded and it's going to be built. It's pretty exciting," said Jonathan Dubman, a Montlake resident who attended an open house Wednesday night.

"There are still huge open issues, like 520 ... but I think once (light rail is) built, it's going to be wildly popular," said Dubman, who represents the Montlake neighborhood on the state Route 520 mediation team, which has been charged with trouble-shooting a state Route 520 bridge replacement.

Most of University Station will be located underground; escalators or elevators will carry passengers down three floors to the train platform.

But a one-story building will be visible from the street, as well as a new curved, elevated pedestrian bridge, connecting lower campus and the Burke-Gilman Trail with the stadium and light rail station.

While only about a third of the design is done, the plan for the 16-foot-wide pedestrian bridge won unanimous approval last week from the Seattle Light Rail Review Panel.

University Station is the north end of a $1.7 billion, 3.15-mile light rail line from downtown Seattle. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray earlier this month secured $20 million for the line in the 2008 federal budget.

Sound Transit will pursue a $750 million full funding grant (less the $20 million) from the federal government to help complete University Link, spokesman Bruce Gray said.

Had a regional transportation ballot measure passed in November, the line would have been extended to Northgate.

Tracy Reed, Sound Transit's project manager, said complex design hurdles had to be overcome for University Station. The issue of vibrations from construction and train operations had to be resolved, because they threatened sensitive research equipment at the UW.

The station's depth, about 100 feet below street level, necessitated three levels of platforms and long escalators to carry passengers to and from the train platform. Elevators for disabled access also will be built.

In July, UW and Sound Transit officials signed agreements, addressing university concerns ranging from saving the cherished Mount Rainier Vista and parking/tailgating space to pedestrian access and construction impacts.

Sound Transit also has signed an agreement with the state Transportation Department, which oversees the 520 bridge replacement, to increase collaboration and communication between the two agencies to ensure compatibility between the rail line and final 520 design. Issues include possible street widening on Montlake, street interchanges or ramp siting at Montlake, transit connections, a possible 520 tunnel and bike paths.

"The real challenge at University Station is to design it around unknowns -- what 520 will look like, what the stadium may look like," Reed said.

Numerous issues have been resolved, such as parking and possible disruption or interference with the university's research labs, said Theresa Doherty of the UW Office of Regional Affairs.

"At this point we're working with Sound Transit, and continuing to design the station under the parking lot of Husky Stadium," Doherty said. "Sound Transit will be testing the trains to address concerns about vibrations; we feel confident those issues will be resolved."

Gray said further public meetings will be held when the design is closer to completion.

P-I reporter Debera Carlton Harrell can be reached at 206-448-8326 or [email protected].

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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #1715
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http://www.crosscut.com/transportati...t+by+precinct/

Sizing up the Proposition 1 vote, precinct by precinct

Voters were resisting a plan that was Seattle-centric and premised on the expectation that most people would become affluent professionals working in dense urban settings. This skeptic of rail transit also suggests how to recraft the proposal.

By Richard Morrill

Precinct-level maps of the vote on Proposition 1, the roads-and-transit measure defeated last month in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, as well as census demographic data reveal a lot about the region's urban politics. Here are a few conclusions I would draw.

The package was perceived and voted on as a rail project, with the roads part having little measurable effect. Areas benefiting from road projects were as opposed to the measure as areas that wouldn't benefit. Sound Transit also lost the tradeoff between a larger area that would generate greater tax revenue and a smaller, more-urbanized area that might have supported the project. Support was typically only 30 percent to 40 percent in the outer half or more of the regional transit authority (RTA) district.

People voted self interest, geographically. Denser, transit-dependent areas and, in many cases, areas near proposed rail transit stations tended to vote yes, while less-dense and auto-dependent areas far from proposed rail lines — at least three-quarters of all precincts — voted no, by as much as 10 to 1. Areas with middle-class families, especially with workers in manufacturing, transportation, or construction, voted no, partly because of their location (Pierce, Snohomish, and South King counties) but probably also because of the proposal's dependence on regressive sales and vehicle taxes.

The city neighborhoods of West Seattle, Magnolia, and Ballard must still be angry over the demise of their transit plan, the Seattle Monorail Project. "New Urbanist" areas — that is, urban village precincts dominated by apartments, renters, and condos — voted yes, while areas with mainly single-family homes were almost universally negative, even in the city of Seattle. Downtown Tacoma residents love their train and voted for Prop 1.

Based on known demographics from census data, areas of young, unmarried, "romantic idealists" voted yes, but older married folks, especially those with children, were skeptical and fearful of the long-term tax burden. Native-born Washingtonians were much more negative than migrants from other states, or the foreign-born. The poor and the unemployed were more supportive than the employed and more affluent, perhaps because they are transit dependent or because they are more likely to be younger and unmarried.

Here is the percent yes vote by some cities:

Mercer Island 52
Edmonds 49
Seattle, Shoreline, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Redmond 47
Mill Creek 46
Bellevue 45
Federal Way, Issaquah, Renton, Everett 43
Burien, Sammamish 42
Kirkland, Mukilteo 41
Kent, Burien 40
Marysville 39

My conclusions are based on a statistical analysis of a sample of 200 precincts, about one-quarter of them voting over 60 percent in favor of Prop 1, about one-quarter voting less than 30 percent in favor, and about half voting at the average support level of 44 percent to 47 percent. Since we don't have good census data by current precincts, I matched the sample precincts to the closest U.S. census block group.

Essentially, middle-class families who own houses or would like to, who fill the large majority of jobs in services, transport, and industry, and who are mainly outside the city of Seattle used this vote as a chance to resist a Seattle-centric plan and a long term tax burden perceived as benefiting mainly affluent professionals in or commuting to Seattle.

Put another way, Proposition 1, like so much planning in the region, was conceived on the assumption that people were, will be, or should be affluent professionals who live in dense urban villages and work in large urban centers. But of course the real world is not like that. The majority of people still live and will continue to live in families with children for part of their lives; they want to live in homes, not apartments or condos; and they do not and could not work in dense centers.

It would be a colossal mistake for the Democratic party leadership to identify with the losing yes position. The majority of Democratic-leaning precincts voted no, including mine, which is 95 percent Democratic. I am only one of many pretty far-left Democrats who want to remind the party leadership that the suburban worker family is as vital as the urban professional, and to suggest that the role of parties has historically been to respond to the needs and goals of constituents, not to chastise them for their failure to become New Urbanists.

In light of these findings, my advice to Sound Transit would be as follows:

- Vote on a transit measure separately. Devise a much smaller rail component. The two corridors of support are to Northgate and to Bellevue, but not to Pierce county or to Snohomish county. I 90 would be an ideal corridor for a bus rapid transit alternative, reserving a future SR520 for possible rail. The majority component of a revised package must be transit, but not rail; perhaps a combination of enhanced bus transit, but also consideration of local to regional circulators.

- Put effort into raising the capacity of the freeway and arterial system to handle improved and faster bus transit. Do not rely on raising the sales tax. Wait until a couple years of operation of rail to SeaTac. If it as popular as, say the Minneapolis line to the airport, then the public would be more inclined to support additional lines.

Richard Morrill is an urban demographer and taught for many years at the University of Washington's Department of Geography.

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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #1716
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Well, I like what i'm hearing (some of it)

There needs to be a new funding/tax collecting structure for Sound Transit. That way, each county can get what they want without the approval of the two other counties. The current "subarea equity" (as what i've heard from UrbanBen) just doesn't seem to accomplish as much as we would like.

Last edited by taiwanesedrummer36; December 17th, 2007 at 08:35 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #1717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
http://www.crosscut.com/transportati...t+by+precinct/

Put another way, Proposition 1, like so much planning in the region, was conceived on the assumption that people were, will be, or should be affluent professionals who live in dense urban villages and work in large urban centers. But of course the real world is not like that. The majority of people still live and will continue to live in families with children for part of their lives; they want to live in homes, not apartments or condos; and they do not and could not work in dense centers.

Ok, this whole paragraph is total bullshit. "Created under the assumption that people should be affluent progessionals" What a pompous ass. There is nothing that says single family homes can't be built as a part of a dense urban village and transit oriented development. This guy should stick to geography and stay the hell away from planning of any sort.

Other than that these are good ideas ;-) -

Quote:
- Vote on a transit measure separately. Devise a much smaller rail component. The two corridors of support are to Northgate and to Bellevue, but not to Pierce county or to Snohomish county. I 90 would be an ideal corridor for a bus rapid transit alternative, reserving a future SR520 for possible rail. The majority component of a revised package must be transit, but not rail; perhaps a combination of enhanced bus transit, but also consideration of local to regional circulators.

- Put effort into raising the capacity of the freeway and arterial system to handle improved and faster bus transit. Do not rely on raising the sales tax. Wait until a couple years of operation of rail to SeaTac. If it as popular as, say the Minneapolis line to the airport, then the public would be more inclined to support additional lines.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #1718
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Ok, this whole paragraph is total bullshit. "Created under the assumption that people should be affluent progessionals" What a pompous ass. There is nothing that says single family homes can't be built as a part of a dense urban village and transit oriented development. This guy should stick to geography and stay the hell away from planning of any sort.

Other than that these are good ideas ;-) -
No, honestly, nothing needs to happen to Sound Transit. We just need not to screw with their ballot proposals by sticking roads on!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #1719
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http://www.crosscut.com/transportati...s+is+emerging/

Beyond Proposition 1: A new consensus is emerging
A group headed by Norm Rice and John Stanton is gathering allies for a more rational and practical approach to the region's transit needs. Both supporters and opponents of the failed Proposition 1 are part of the effort.

By Ted Van Dyk

"The voters are not fools." —political scientist V.O. Key

In the wake of Proposition 1's overwhelming rejection by King, Pierce, and Snohomish county voters, encouraging signs of rationality are beginning to appear in what has heretofore been the absurdist world of regional transportation planning.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made effusive statements last week on the first run of the $52 million Allentown Trolley from Westlake Center to South Lake Union, regarding his vision of a trolley-system extension through all of downtown Seattle. Gov. Chris Gregoire, having committed $1 billion to a fixup of each end of the creaking Alaskan Way Viaduct, suddenly reversed herself on the issue of final repair or replacement and declared herself open to surface/transit options she previously had rejected. Sound Transit board members, now led by Nickels, were laying plans for resubmission, probably in 2010, of their soundly defeated proposal for an extended light rail system.

None of those outcomes (except possibly the adoption of a surface/transit solution on Alaskan Way) is likely to transpire.

Instead, momentum now has shifted toward more practical and affordable ways that the region's most pressing transportation needs can be met. For one thing, Gregoire has stated that repair or replacement of the Evergreen Point Bridge across Lake Washington will have high priority in the year ahead. Both the 520 bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct are state highways, and the governor, indeed, can address both definitively if determined to do so.

We also may see in 2008 a reform of the regional transportation planning and decisionmaking structures that have failed us often in the past.

The Gregoire-appointed Norm Rice-John Stanton commission [2.5 MB PDF] a year ago proposed that Sound Transit and the Regional Transportation Investment District be superseded by a new, mainly elected, regional transportation body better able to make independent, cost-benefit-based proposals for balanced transportation systems. The proposal was well received in the Legislature but stalled in the face of full-court opposition by Sound Transit and those who are protecting turf or who benefit directly from Sound Transit contracts.

One reason that Sound Transit overreached so badly in seeking record amounts of tax dollars in Prop 1 was that it feared it might shortly be euthanized if the Rice-Stanton proposals were adopted, or that taxes reserved for Sound Transit would be raided for road building or non-Sound Transit bus systems. For Sound Transit, Prop 1 was Stalingrad. Without the fresh infusions of money, even its limited local light rail system lacks funds to get as far north as Husky Stadium.

Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and hi-tech executive/investor John Stanton have decided to press aggressively in 2008 for adoption of their proposal. They have been joined, initially, by a core group including of former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Bruce Agnew of the Discovery Institute's Cascadia transportation center, Snohomish County transportation leader Reid Shockey, 2004 attorney general candidate Mike Vaska, and Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable and co-chair of the pro-Prop 1 campaign. This eclectic group includes previous Sound Transit and Prop 1 advocates. They are united in a belief that rationality and accountability must become cornerstones of future transportation policy.

The Rice-Stanton group already has met with the governor and key legislative leaders and reports no overt opposition to their proposal. They also have had informational meetings with Sound Transit and RTID leaders. According to Stanton, his group has no illusions regarding the support of these bodies, but they hope to at least blunt their opposition.

Rice, Stanton, et. al., shortly will form a committee — let us call it, for now, the Committee for Rational Transportation Decisions — to generate public support for their proposals and to bring pressure on the governor and legislative leaders during the coming short session of the Legislature. The effort, at least for now, will be directed toward legislation rather than a ballot measure, although the latter could remain an option. No legislative lobbyist has yet been hired.

The latest version of the Rice-Stanton proposal calls for the regional transportation authority's members to be directly elected (rather than appointed, as with the Sound Transit and RTID boards) and thus directly accountable to their constituents. It would be supplemented by six appointed members, with four to be appointed by the counties and two by the governor. Though the latter configuration could change, directly elected officials would form a strong majority on the body.

The Rice-Stanton group could also find itself working with Prop. 1 opponents such as Belltown financier Mark Baerwaldt and former state Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge. Baerwaldt and Talmadge have also publicly endorsed the notion of the new regional transportation agency to supersede Sound Transit and RTID. These forces, together, have the money, political juice, and potential public support to create the desired institutional change.

In all of this, a new consensus is emerging about a post-Prop 1 agenda. It centers on moving aside turf-oriented, self-serving agencies such as Sound Transit and transferring power to a more objective, more responsive regional body. It would stress immediate priorities such as addressing the urgent Alaskan Way Viaduct and Evergreen Point Bridge, which are aging and structurally vulnerable. It would not stop light rail construction in place, but it would limit construction to a line running from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to either Convention Place, Husky Stadium, or Northgate. Future funding would be focused more greatly on express bus, bus rapid transit, and normal bus service; dedicated transit lanes; HOV lanes; tolling; and selective repair and expansion of long neglected local roads and lifeline highways. Citywide trolleys definitely would not be part of the scheme.

Things move slowly hereabouts. But finally they appear to be moving in the right direction on regional transportation policy. The coming year could actually be a good one for us in that regard.

Ted Van Dyk has been involved in, and written about, national policy and politics since 1961. His memoir of public life, Heroes, Hacks and Fools, was published last month by University of Washington Press. You can reach him in care of [email protected].
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #1720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
http://www.crosscut.com/transportati...s+is+emerging/

Beyond Proposition 1: A new consensus is emerging
A group headed by Norm Rice and John Stanton is gathering allies for a more rational and practical approach to the region's transit needs. Both supporters and opponents of the failed Proposition 1 are part of the effort.

By Ted Van Dyk

"The voters are not fools." —political scientist V.O. Key

In the wake of Proposition 1's overwhelming rejection by King, Pierce, and Snohomish county voters, encouraging signs of rationality are beginning to appear in what has heretofore been the absurdist world of regional transportation planning.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made effusive statements last week on the first run of the $52 million Allentown Trolley from Westlake Center to South Lake Union, regarding his vision of a trolley-system extension through all of downtown Seattle. Gov. Chris Gregoire, having committed $1 billion to a fixup of each end of the creaking Alaskan Way Viaduct, suddenly reversed herself on the issue of final repair or replacement and declared herself open to surface/transit options she previously had rejected. Sound Transit board members, now led by Nickels, were laying plans for resubmission, probably in 2010, of their soundly defeated proposal for an extended light rail system.

None of those outcomes (except possibly the adoption of a surface/transit solution on Alaskan Way) is likely to transpire.

Instead, momentum now has shifted toward more practical and affordable ways that the region's most pressing transportation needs can be met. For one thing, Gregoire has stated that repair or replacement of the Evergreen Point Bridge across Lake Washington will have high priority in the year ahead. Both the 520 bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct are state highways, and the governor, indeed, can address both definitively if determined to do so.

We also may see in 2008 a reform of the regional transportation planning and decisionmaking structures that have failed us often in the past.

The Gregoire-appointed Norm Rice-John Stanton commission [2.5 MB PDF] a year ago proposed that Sound Transit and the Regional Transportation Investment District be superseded by a new, mainly elected, regional transportation body better able to make independent, cost-benefit-based proposals for balanced transportation systems. The proposal was well received in the Legislature but stalled in the face of full-court opposition by Sound Transit and those who are protecting turf or who benefit directly from Sound Transit contracts.

One reason that Sound Transit overreached so badly in seeking record amounts of tax dollars in Prop 1 was that it feared it might shortly be euthanized if the Rice-Stanton proposals were adopted, or that taxes reserved for Sound Transit would be raided for road building or non-Sound Transit bus systems. For Sound Transit, Prop 1 was Stalingrad. Without the fresh infusions of money, even its limited local light rail system lacks funds to get as far north as Husky Stadium.

Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and hi-tech executive/investor John Stanton have decided to press aggressively in 2008 for adoption of their proposal. They have been joined, initially, by a core group including of former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Bruce Agnew of the Discovery Institute's Cascadia transportation center, Snohomish County transportation leader Reid Shockey, 2004 attorney general candidate Mike Vaska, and Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable and co-chair of the pro-Prop 1 campaign. This eclectic group includes previous Sound Transit and Prop 1 advocates. They are united in a belief that rationality and accountability must become cornerstones of future transportation policy.

The Rice-Stanton group already has met with the governor and key legislative leaders and reports no overt opposition to their proposal. They also have had informational meetings with Sound Transit and RTID leaders. According to Stanton, his group has no illusions regarding the support of these bodies, but they hope to at least blunt their opposition.

Rice, Stanton, et. al., shortly will form a committee — let us call it, for now, the Committee for Rational Transportation Decisions — to generate public support for their proposals and to bring pressure on the governor and legislative leaders during the coming short session of the Legislature. The effort, at least for now, will be directed toward legislation rather than a ballot measure, although the latter could remain an option. No legislative lobbyist has yet been hired.

The latest version of the Rice-Stanton proposal calls for the regional transportation authority's members to be directly elected (rather than appointed, as with the Sound Transit and RTID boards) and thus directly accountable to their constituents. It would be supplemented by six appointed members, with four to be appointed by the counties and two by the governor. Though the latter configuration could change, directly elected officials would form a strong majority on the body.

The Rice-Stanton group could also find itself working with Prop. 1 opponents such as Belltown financier Mark Baerwaldt and former state Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge. Baerwaldt and Talmadge have also publicly endorsed the notion of the new regional transportation agency to supersede Sound Transit and RTID. These forces, together, have the money, political juice, and potential public support to create the desired institutional change.

In all of this, a new consensus is emerging about a post-Prop 1 agenda. It centers on moving aside turf-oriented, self-serving agencies such as Sound Transit and transferring power to a more objective, more responsive regional body. It would stress immediate priorities such as addressing the urgent Alaskan Way Viaduct and Evergreen Point Bridge, which are aging and structurally vulnerable. It would not stop light rail construction in place, but it would limit construction to a line running from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to either Convention Place, Husky Stadium, or Northgate. Future funding would be focused more greatly on express bus, bus rapid transit, and normal bus service; dedicated transit lanes; HOV lanes; tolling; and selective repair and expansion of long neglected local roads and lifeline highways. Citywide trolleys definitely would not be part of the scheme.

Things move slowly hereabouts. But finally they appear to be moving in the right direction on regional transportation policy. The coming year could actually be a good one for us in that regard.

Ted Van Dyk has been involved in, and written about, national policy and politics since 1961. His memoir of public life, Heroes, Hacks and Fools, was published last month by University of Washington Press. You can reach him in care of [email protected].
The P-I just fired Van Dyk because he wrote one too many attacks against Sound Transit - he writes nearly nothing else these days. Kindly, would you stop posting his tripe? It's getting really old, and his arguments were dead in the late 60s when we started trying to modernize our transportation.

By the way, I'm currently in Strasbourg - where there are five at-grade tramway lines for a city core of less than 300,000, no major highways through the city center, and look at that! People are bicycling and walking everywhere! Would you believe that intercity rail is the first choice for getting to neighboring cities? Imagine, they even have an Apple store, the commie bastards...
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