Mar 28, 2011
commented on Gentle People, Fear Not The Return Of The Abominable Elevated Freeway On Seattle's Waterfront
Joe M: in one key aspect, the deep bore expands capacity; where the AWV Battery Street Tunnel provides two narrow lanes without shoulders, the deep bore would provide four wide lanes with shoulders for bypass trips and would not have as much traffic friction in downtown. It impact would be counter to adopted land use plans.
Ian: it does not seem valid to lump those in favor of the retrofit with those in favor of a rebuild; the two would have very different phasing. A poll ought to ask about risk and cost as well.
Orv: yes, most great cities were formed with tight street grids around ports, rivers, and rail before limited access highways.
Big ugly: actually, the deep bore does take more city funds, as the fixed WSDOT funds are exhausted by the deep bore, portals, and demolition, and the city must fund the arterial connections, some of which would have been state funded under surface, I-5, and transit.
all: the key missing piece in all options is the transit funding; the three executives proposed a one percent MVET for Metro but did not convince the Legislature to provide it. It has three components: some capital, some service in the corridor, and, most importantly, filing in the base from the decline of sales tax revenue. Exec Sims saw this and conditioned his support of the deep bore on the one percent MVET.
Dec 17, 2010
commented on Gregoire Won't Speak to McGinn Because He "Demeaned the Office of the Mayor"
whether or not she wants to speak with McGinn, it would be great if she submitted an executive request bill to the 2011 session enacting the one percent MVET for transit that she agreed to with Executive Sims and Mayor Nickels in January 2009 in the deep bore hail mary. the three execs cut that deal. now two of them are gone. the three legislative branches have to follow through. the Seattle Council seems willing to raise its share: $900m. the Council Council has not yet been authorized to seek the one percent MVET. it needs help from the Governor and the Legislature.
Jun 3, 2010
commented on County Transportation Chair Says County Won't Pay Cost Overruns on Tunnel
during the 2009 city campaign, Senator Katsama, D-Puyallup, spoke in defense of the deep bore and had this formulation: if deep bore costs were higher than expected, the state transportation budget would be adjusted in Olympia to reduce other King County projects to cover the difference. of course, that assumes that the state is not so tax adverse that there are other projects to cut.
note that the language of the deep bore legislation is ambiguous; it calls for the property owners in the Seattle area who benefit from the deep bore to pay for the difference. there are two groups of property owners who will benefit: those who take or benefit from bypass trips through downtown Seattle and those who own land next to the current AWV that will have more value after it is demolished. the first group is widely spread out in a three-county area; the second group is concentrated within a few blocks. hard to capture.
May 8, 2010
commented on In Other News
DH writes: "and the streetcar line came in $6 million under budget".
This is not so. SDOT will spend the rest of the calendar year estimating the cost and doing environmental analysis of the alignment that the Mayor and Council have selected. SDOT has only done the preliminary cost estimate. It's early yet.
The fall in ST2 sales tax revenue seems irrelevant to the expenditure of funds already allocated to the First Hill Connector streetcar.
Seattle would have to fund the extension, not just a study of the extension. The capital cost of the extension not only includes the trackway and overhead, but also anotther streetcar to maintain the headway over a longer alignment. An LID could be used for part of the capital cost of an extension. If Seattle had more funds to spend on the streetcar, and they do not, improving service frequency over the Denny to Pioneer Square alignment would be more effective than an extension. The ST2 plan has 15-minute headway in the off-peak.
Back to the cost estimation. SDOT may discover higher costs than expected to place the streetcar tracks on the viaduct over the BNSFRR mainline; they may discover higher costs than expected to integrate with the electric trolleybus network; they may find traffic impacts of adding streetcar platforms in busy arterials and intersections.
May 8, 2010
commented on Mayor to Gov: You Said State Would Pay for Tunnel Cost Overruns
the three executives also agreed that the state would provide Metro the one percent MVET to both add more service in the AWV corridor and make up the upcoming fiscal crisis, that Sims knew was coming. the deep bore provides bypass capacity. the three governments expect transit to carry more trips oriented town downtown Seattle.
Apr 14, 2010
commented on Capitol Hill Community Council Fights for Aloha Extension to Broadway Streetcar
no Capitol "Hill" in Amsterdam; it is flat.
how long would the cycle track be? at its endpoints, what would cyclists going in the opposite direction of the traffic on that side of the arterial do? is the track wide enough for two-way travel?
it is not quite ST's money. Note that three governments collect taxes from almost the same set of taxpayers to help almost the same set of riders. Seattle is 90 percent of the North King County subareas of both ST and Metro. if ST did not fund the streetcar, it could only use the funds inside the same subarea.
Mar 16, 2010
commented on Lots of Shitty Buses
Dom: due to the fiscal crisis, Metro is reducing the rate at which buses are cleaned.
Both Muni and Metro are in fiscal crisis and cutting service.
later this year, Metro buses are due to get smarter with the on board systems program.
one need not go to Europe or Asia to find good transit. it is also quite good in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.
more of European systems are traction powered: electric trolleybus, streetcar, electric multiple unit, subway.