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cressona
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3:42 PM cressona commented on Transit Advocates Dance on the Grave of Tom Rasmussen.
RDPence @15, you're really going out of your way to put words into my mouth, and I'm puzzled why.

When I'm talking about "pro-transit" politicians favoring buses over light rail, I'm obviously talking about situations where light rail has even been a consideration. Every buses-only funding measure that's been on the ballot over the past decade-plus I've voted for, and I've donated money and/or volunteered for most, if not all, of them.

Yes, "transit is a system." The problem I have isn't with leaders who see buses as part of that system. It's with leaders who don't see light rail as a bigger part of that system, or leaders who, whenever any corridor comes up for consideration for light rail, always say, "Oh, that's so expensive. Let's do buses there instead."
2:05 PM cressona commented on Transit Advocates Dance on the Grave of Tom Rasmussen.
I have a hard time taking seriously any politician in our region who claims to be pro-transit and comes down in favor of buses over light rail. Either (A) you're anti-transit but you know that coming out as such is poison at the polls or (B) you have no fuckin' clue how transportation and land-use economics works, or for that matter how people's lives work. I've always put Nick Licata in the (B) "no fuckin' clue" camp, and so I am absolutely thrilled to see that he won't be running again.

I've never viewed Tom Rasmussen that way. I campaigned for him back in 2003 because I viewed him as a more pro-transit alternative to the incumbent Margaret Pageler. I remember he hired Rob Johnson's former TCC colleague Bill LaBorde as his transportation guru. But I don't pay such close attention to City Council, so I'm willing to hear out someone who does pay close attention, namely Rob Johnson:
Johnson compares Rasmussen to Licata, saying both have been skeptical of street cars and light rail. “I wouldn’t call them opponents of those but it has translated into both of them being stronger bus advocates.”

Now that I think about it, in his four years as transportation chair with Mike McGinn as mayor, all I can remember is Rasmussen expending political energy trying to poke McGinn in the eye, even if it meant coming out as anti-light rail; I don't remember him championing light rail expansion or Sound Transit 3, or at least championing it enough to catch the attention of those of us who aren't paying attention.

So yeah, I'm willing to admit Tom Rasmussen hasn't measured up as the leader on transportation I'd hoped he'd be. And considering the poll Sound Transit just commissioned that shows overwhelming regional support for light rail expansion, it looks like he'd have some catching up to do just to be a follower.
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Jan 16 cressona commented on The Mayor Says He Should Use Fewer Words When Talking About Bertha.
The grammar Nazi @1 could have done a bit of proofreading in the process. Should be:

Those of us who view a westside light rail line and a second light rail tunnel as this region's biggest transportation need ought to be hanging our hopes on this tunnel project getting its act together.
Jan 16 cressona commented on The Mayor Says He Should Use Fewer Words When Talking About Bertha.
First, I appreciate Murray's frankness and humility on this.

Second, I agree with his assessment of the political implications of a Bertha boondoggle, as much as I may wish that were not the reality. Those of us who view a westside light rail line and a second light rail tunnel as the as this region's biggest transportation ought to be hanging our hopes on this tunnel project getting its act together. Not that hoping makes a difference. As someone who voted for Mike McGinn over Ed Murray for mayor, I wish McGinn had used more political capital on being pro-rail than anti-deep-bore-tunnel, rather than the other way around like he did.

And last but not least, the grammar Nazi in me approves of Murray's correcting himself on "less—fewer—words."
Jan 7 cressona commented on Would Bertha's Failure Doom Transit Tunnels in Downtown Seattle?.
RDPence @19, I appreciate the unvarnished take. Not about to dispute it. I like your putting it as "a dry run for 2020." Sound Transit and its champions will do a lot better trying as hard as they can in the 2015 session for 2016--and failing--than just conceding failure and not trying.
Jan 7 cressona commented on Would Bertha's Failure Doom Transit Tunnels in Downtown Seattle?.
Agreed with Reverse Polarity @10 and Fnarf @15 and the mayor's spokesperson: "Murray is, in fact, 'concerned that if the highest-profile transportation project in the city fails, it undermines confidence in government and will have an impact on our ability to move forward on future Sound Transit light rail investments.'"

This is a case of the way things are, not the way they should be. When it comes to the voters, perception is reality; reality is not reality.

Having said this, how about we use this moment as a pivot point to start expending political energy on getting ST3 on the ballot in 2016 and stop letting the deep-bore tunnel be a distraction from that? If we're so concerned about the two projects being conflated, let's start decoupling our own focus. Rep. Jessyn Farrell from the 46th District in north Seattle plans to introduce a bill to authorize ST3 funding. How about we start rooting for that just like rooting for the Seahawks doesn't stop us from rooting for the Sounders too? And I go back to a question I'd like for Sydney Brownstone to ask the mayor, "Do you support state legislation to put ST3 on the ballot in 2016?"
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Jan 7 cressona commented on Would Bertha's Failure Doom Transit Tunnels in Downtown Seattle?.
Dick Burkhart @3, for someone who purports to be knowledgeable about Seattle transit, you are parroting a real beginner's misconception that has had to be shot down again and again and again on forums like this one and Seattle Transit Blog. With Central Link and East Link already, there is no additional capacity to run a westside light rail line through the existing downtown transit tunnel. My understanding is the headways for East Link are already seriously and permanently compromised by having to interleave with Central Link.

Simply put, a Ballard-downtown-West Seattle line needs an additional downtown transit tunnel. Not only that, but there's plenty of potential for that second downtown transit tunnel to some day (maybe decades in the future) accommodate an additional line that would perhaps serve the Aurora corridor. See the map on Seattle Subway's site.
Jan 3 cressona commented on Wait. What? Mayor Murray Dreams of a Fourth Tunnel. (For Transit.).
This reminds me, the always-awesome Rep. Jessyn Farrell from the 46th District says in her latest newsletter: On the (transit) funding side, I am co-sponsoring legislation authorizing Sound Transit to put together a new regional ballot measure.

Folks, contact your state legislators and tell them to get behind this. And I'd love to hear Sydney Brownstone here ask the mayor a follow-up question, "Would you support Rep. Farrell's ST3 bill?"
Jan 3 cressona commented on Wait. What? Mayor Murray Dreams of a Fourth Tunnel. (For Transit.).
Upon further consideration, I'm finding myself more skeptical of Ed Murray than I was @6. A second north-south light-rail tunnel through downtown exists in a different political sphere than the deep-bore tunnel does. That transit tunnel would be the key piece of Sound Transit 3 for the Seattle/North King County subarea, and ST3 is dependent on taxing-authority legislation from Olympia. And there's nothing saying the state legislature has to make granting that taxing authority have anything to do with the deep-bore tunnel. In fact, if such a coupling were to happen, it would be yet another example of the "You'll only get your transit if we get our roads" hostage-taking that has been all too common in this state.

So now I guess I'm back to my view of Ed Murray as the "wolf in sheep's clothes" of pro-transit politicians.

That said, I'm still pleasantly taken aback at his coming out and saying, "The ultimate answer to transit through downtown Seattle is for light rail to come through downtown Seattle from West Seattle or Ballard." Hence, my initial reaction. Maybe the Seattle Subway folks have the mayor's ear.

And having given my "on the other hand" to my original comment, I could lay out another "on the other hand" to this one--that basically things aren't as simple as I'm making them out to be.

+1 on @18 and @21 on how a new transit tunnel is nothing like the deep-bore tunnel.
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Jan 2 cressona commented on Wait. What? Mayor Murray Dreams of a Fourth Tunnel. (For Transit.).
In my book, by far the most important remaining project that needs to happen to make the Seattle region have a viable, working transportation system is to build light rail through the Ballard-downtown-West Seattle corridor, and to make that line be grade-separated (tunneled) through downtown.

So when Ed Murray says the following, he could just as well be speaking for me: "My fear around Bertha isn’t so much isn’t that the current tunnel can’t be built. But I believe [its failure] will kill any opportunity to build a fourth tunnel through Seattle. The ultimate answer to transit through downtown Seattle is for light rail to come through downtown Seattle from West Seattle or Ballard.”

When it comes to the deep-bore tunnel, that really is my dog in the fight. I hope it succeeds if for no other reason than I fear that its failure will create some insurmountable resistance to building a second downtown transit tunnel.

I hope my fear is unfounded. I realize these are two vastly different tunnel projects, and that a second downtown transit tunnel would be nowhere near the engineering big deal that the DBT is. I realize the two projects really should be unrelated. I realize I'm talking not so much about engineering as political and public perception.

I tend to take Murray at face value on this and not see some sinister motive. In this respect, I'm really relieved to be hearing such a statement from him. I voted for Mike McGinn because I've regarded him as more sincerely pro-transit, but if Murray proves to be more effective in actually getting transit built--well, I'll take results over righteous any day.
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