Aug 12 d.p. commented on The Morning News: University of Washington Station Is The Epicenter of Seattle's Transportation Future, Turbulence on a Motherfucking Plane.
No, @8, the "best" solution would have been a more sensibly-located station.

The second-best solution would have been a primary underground egress that emerged on the west side of Montlake, which for a station at such depth would have been easily doable without adding to (and possibly reducing) both access time and construction cost.

The third-best solution would have been a goddamned crosswalk.

In fact, cities with far less egregiously located and exponentially better-patronized transit infrastructure have been replacing hare-brained mid-century skybridges with improved street-level access for years now.

But no one in Seattle seems to have gotten the memo.
Aug 12 d.p. commented on The Morning News: University of Washington Station Is The Epicenter of Seattle's Transportation Future, Turbulence on a Motherfucking Plane.
Ugh. Do Seattle's self-defined capital-U 'Urbanists' even care to understand anything about urbanity?

There's a reason that the world's better cities are tearing down monstrous overpasses that send pedestrians hundreds of weather-exposed feet out of the way so as to spare drivers from having to acknowledge their existence.

Only in Seattle would anyone build such aerial overkill anew, declare it the primary access route to a billion-dollar subway investment 8 stories below ground (because that makes sense), place it all in a location with no streetscape to speak of, and then laud it as "the future" of urban anything!

*(The various interrelated fields of urban sociology, planning, and study have long demanded the patient exercise of evidence-based research that straddles the hard and soft sciences and is particularly attentive to how human psychology reacts to cues of the built environment. But apparently now it's just a stupid, meaningless one-word clique signifier in a Twitter bio.)
Jun 23 d.p. commented on Touki Bouki Is a Mind-Blowing Afro-Funk Experiment.
Hyenas is an superb film, but Touki Bouki is one of the great jawdroppers in all of cinematic history. It is the rare formally-audacious film that feels no need to flaunt its intellectual achievements, because it's too busy setting gleeful fire to all possible postcolonial ideologies simultaneously. And somehow, through all the brashness and cynicism, the protagonist couple's youthful passions and strivings feel authentic and relatable and universal.

It is an astounding film.

That said, though it has never fallen out of print or respect, Touki Bouki does seem to have "a famous white patron" in the form of Martin Scorsese, who funded its recent restoration and broader distribution.

Jun 21 d.p. commented on Sound Transit Doesn't Need to Cut Down on Marketing Costs: It Needs to Spend More.
Sorry, Charles.

When 2040 comes, and you take all your New York and London friends on a Link field trip to Alaska Junction, they're still going to laugh at you.

Urban vibrancy is about substance, not symbols.
Jun 14 d.p. commented on How Seattle Took Forever to Build a Very Fast Light Rail Line.
You may be the first blind booster to attempt to defend Fife, Issaquah, Interbay, and the Duwamish Delta as some sort of planners' dream of effective, meticulously-researched, geometrically-vetted rapid transit.

Most of your peers simply defend the above as "immutable politics", which is of course a complete abdication of advocacy, on top of being a shitty rationale for 50 years of infrastructural hock.

But between your gleeful ST3 Pollyanna-ism and your offensive insistence on conflating any inconvenient-but-fact-based caveats with your "anti-transit" bogeymen, you may yet prove yourself the dumbest "advocate" ever to waste everyone's time on this subject.
Jun 14 d.p. commented on How Seattle Took Forever to Build a Very Fast Light Rail Line.
I'm sure they're equally grateful for your flippant treatment of $54 billion in debt service for astoundingly limited mobility outcomes.

Hint: Insisting on the pursuit of best practices in both operations and network design is about the least that any self-appointed advocate should expect of him/herself.
Jun 14 d.p. commented on How Seattle Took Forever to Build a Very Fast Light Rail Line.
Yup, Cressona's gotta be in Fife lickety-split!

If you live in First Hill or commute to Fremont, well, sucks to be you.
Jun 6 d.p. commented on Sound Transit Board Approves Changes to ST3 to Speed Up Light Rail Projects.
And Pridge, politics interferes with East Coast infrastructure all the time, and always has.

But I dare you to show any New Yorker your $54 billion plan to solve very few problems for very few Seattleites. Once their multiple heart attacks have subsided, they'll tell you about their crippling system-wide maintenance backlog that could be wiped away for a fraction of that. They'll tell you about the decades-delayed Second Avenue Subway, which could be finished (one end of the island to the other) for about 1/3 of that. And they'll tell you about the impending catastrophic failure of the Hudson River tunnels, whose replacements could be underway for about 35% of that.

All of New York City's most pressing transit troubles could be solved for the same $54 billion that you would have Seattle spend building a one-stop subway to The Tiny-Ass Junction, a sprawling line to an "airport" with less than one dozen potential commercial flights per day, alongside a sprawling, pedestrian-inaccessible factory owned by a company perpetually threatening to flee, and some random part of not-quite-Issaquah with no valid reason to expect job growth and a present residential population of zero.

No "politics" could ever fix that level of waste and stupid.
Jun 6 d.p. commented on Sound Transit Board Approves Changes to ST3 to Speed Up Light Rail Projects.
I have no reason to question Rogoff's intelligence or his suitability for his defined role. He is a hired bureaucrat whose primary selling point is his assumed facility with FTA funding formulas. He was brought in to try to positively spin ST's poor-ROI West Seattle obsession and to lipstick its zillion-mile suburban pigs.

Whatever. Funding formulas are funding formulas, and the FTA is decreasingly interested in subsidizing lipsticked pigs. ST will be lucky to get any of its expected Federal windfall outside of a Ballard line. I suspect that Rogoff secretly knows this.

Dow, on the other hand, is a well-intentioned dimwit on most matters. His sub-par comprehension of the important challenges that are his professional charge is hardly limited to transit.

Listen, I'm not quite sure why I still care about your proudly stupid sorta-city enough to stay up late and wade through your increasingly nonsensical strawman arguments and character attacks. I guess I simply believe that a massive infrastructural proposal of unprecedented expense might want to be properly vetted for, y'know, non-imaginary effectiveness before charging ahead with five decades of highly-regressive debt service in order to pay for it.

The real question is: Why don't you believe that?

Why do you fetishize the legacy infrastructure of elsewhere, and then endorse as a "dream plan" a paradigm that couldn't be more different, and which follows only the most failed precedents of recent decades? Why would you risk Seattle's entire future on the idea that Sheer Snowflake Awesomeness can overcome terrible design and execution?

Don't ask why I continue to care so much? Ask why you care so little?
Jun 4 d.p. commented on Sound Transit Board Approves Changes to ST3 to Speed Up Light Rail Projects.
Yeah, @17, "gaping holes" like Some Hypothetical Issaquah Redevolpment Zone, or the South Kirkland P&R, or the highway embankment in Fife, or the decentralized low-scale industrial park 20 miles from anywhere, not to mention the Hyperbolic Junction of Smug and Boring (aka the non-even-top-20-in-Seattle-proper population center or locus of commercial activity that 85% of the city never has a reason to remember exists).

I'm so glad those are the "glaring holes" to be addressed by this $54 billion plan. (Which presumes, apparently, Federal contributions that will somehow dwarf and override the actual unfunded needs of millions in New York and DC.)

Shame that 2040 will come, and most of the city will still be an hour from most everywhere else in the city, because those tens of billions to do a sliver of good for Fremont or Greenwood or the Central District or Lake City -- all places denser and more contiguous and with more pervasive non-commute transit needs than the places on ST's to-do list, but which I guess do not qualify as "gaping holes" to you, because reasons.

Listen, I'm as tired of arguing this subject as you are. Go take a plane to any fucking real city anywhere in the world. Note all the successful urban-scaled transit delivering all kinds of passengers in all directions all day for infinite permutations of purposes. Note how many people cycle on and off the vehicles at each and every station, dispersing in all directions and going about their business along vectors that you can't begin to surmise by glancing at the single fucking thing anywhere near the station, as is the case in most any location in Seattle.

Note that the critical masses warranting high-capacity, high-frequency transit do not magically arise from endpoints as sleepy and unpopulated as The Junction, much less from 30-mile-distant malls or industrial parks or economically-challenged second cities, and note that the highest-order transit corridors do not remotely chase such priorities and distances, because they have infinitely better things to do.

Note that most any place you encounter successful urban transit boasts a degree of human bustle unseen anywhere in Seattle, even in the current boom times, including Capitol Hill and Ballard and every place on my own "glaring gaps" list above. Note that Seattle's internal battles over what supposedly constitutes "density" and "overwhelming demand" will start to seem quaint and sense-of-scale-challenged, in comparison to anywhere you visit that could be called "robust" while maintaining a straight face.

ST3 is Worst Practice Design incarnate. Sprawling, expensive, egregiously overextended, poorly routed, missing its marks even when headed towards urban quadrants that might actually gain value from it if done correctly. ST3 would be crap transit even if completed tomorrow, and even if it magically materialized for no cost. That you think haphazardly grazing Tacoma, Everett, Issaquah, and one tiny fraction of NW and SW Seattle with difficult-to-access and (for nearly all trips) grossly time-uncompetitive transit -- which even the most optimistic estimates suggest very few people will ever find useful, no matter how hard they might wish to -- is somehow a "dream plan", simply suggests that you are an inexperienced nincompoop who craves symbols over useful effects. Heaven help Seattle's future mobility and viability if you prove representative of its reasoning skills.