Aug 12, 2016
commented on The Morning News: University of Washington Station Is The Epicenter of Seattle's Transportation Future, Turbulence on a Motherfucking Plane
@11 it had nothing to do with costs and everything to do with UW wanting to save 500 parking spaces in the Montlake Triangle garage (keep in mind that UW Station already sees 9,199 daily boardings).
Tack on to that the fact that UW has opposed any effort to introduce the necessary infrastructure for efficient multimodal access to the station (e.g. a pedestrian tunnel to UW Medicine or bus bays at the station itself), and what could have been an amazing regional transportation hub has ended up a poor final product. Expect similar shortsightedness when UW updates their master plan this fall.
When the U District station opens, providing students with a shorter walk to most parts of campus and better bus connections, the boardings at UW Station will reduce to a trickle.
Jul 12, 2016
commented on Decibel Festival Not Happening This Year
See this over and over again. The founder doesn't have time for the event or organization anymore, so they shutter it, because they either haven't bothered with leadership development enough to have someone else ready to take the reins, or they're too selfish to allow anyone else to take over.
Jun 15, 2016
commented on A Queer Person Told Tukwila Businesses to Lower Their Flags for Orlando Shooting Victims
Very amusing, everybody who's saying that how high you fly a flag is your own choice and demanding it be lowered as directed by the president is fascist. I mean, I guess legally you can't compel a private citizen to lower the flag, but conceptually, that flag is the symbol of a government. If you respect the government the flag stands for, you listen when that government tells you to fly it half-staff.
Flying the flag without proper care is more unpatriotic than not flying it at all. If you're going to display the flag (un-ironically, that is), then you need to take responsibility for it and fly it in the appropriate manner. You don't leave it out in the dark and you lower it as directed. This is not hard to do - there are like a dozen apps and websites that will tell you when to lower it.
The government has directed a period of national mourning. Ignoring that, however unintentionally, means you disrespect those mourned, disrespect the government, and disrespect the flag as its proxy. If you disrespect the flag, that's your business, but then you probably shouldn't be flying it.
Apr 5, 2016
commented on Elevated Train Destroys Chicago's Urban Environment Before Your Very Eyes
The Chicago L, like New York's rapid transit system, and indeed every other functional legacy system in the country, was built in piecemeal by private companies, before mass car ownership, before buses had reached sufficient size, speed or reliability to be competitive. Much of the older parts of the system have quarter- or half-mile station spacing, because walking was the only way to reach them.
The right-of-way was either previously undeveloped or acquired through bribery, extortion or cronyism. The tracks, previously at-grade, were elevated because the city cracked down after too many people were killed in accidents. At every stage there were hardships and injustices, now mostly forgotten.
The L was shaped by logistical and practical considerations. It is part of Chicago's urban fabric, not because it was designed to be so, but because the city grew in around it. Cities are adaptive things.
Our present, crawling process is due in part to transit being run by public agencies, beholden to constituents who are more concerned with the city as it is than as it could be. But this model also does a better job protecting those who would be underserved or even displaced by the unchecked implementation of a private system. The biggest flaw is the lack of the kind of capital that built the old prewar systems. Instead, those funds are going to private systems serving corporate employees (I saw my first Facebook bus in Kirkland just this morning, in fact). Just imagine what we could build if a progressive tax plan redirected these funds for the public good.
Mar 29, 2016
commented on Seattle Must Learn Public Transportation
The idea that a standing-only escalator is more efficient than mixed standing/walking is only true in continuous, high-traffic conditions where people are riding two-abreast on every step. For this to happen, there have to be so many people that there is a queue waiting to board the escalator (as there was on ULink opening day, and after concerts and sporting events). But in the low-to-moderate traffic conditions normally experienced in Link stations, there is no efficiency gained by having everyone stand, as the escalators are usually not even filled to half capacity.
"Stand to the right" is a simplification that works most of the time. The more efficient rule is, "if you didn't have to wait to get on the escalator, stand to the right."