Why My Budget Will Dedicate $5 Million to Expand Rail in Seattle

Comments

1
Right on, Mike.
2
Can anybody tell me why West Seattle didn't get in on this deal?
3
And for those of us living in the south end?
4
Obviously McDumbass has never ridden the #11 bus to Madison Park - an empty bus at most times...
5
@2 probably because we're getting BRT, the C line, instead.
6
Thanks for working to make a difference, Mayor McGinn.

/in before the armchair generals
7
Four more years.
8
Political posturing and bullshit. Sure, piss away $5 million in precious public funds that will end up in the pockets of politically connected consultants for a "study" that will end up on a dusty shelf. In other words, business as usual.
9
Oops. Looks like I typed too soon.
11
Hurray! Light Rail, Street Cars, Bike Paths, Transit Stations, Infrastructure for East of I-5. More investment, more money, more federal funding, yay!

West of I-5.... marginally faster buses down Aurora...
12
Gotta love McGinn trying to save his butt before he starts facing challenges for a second term in a few months. Too late to be sure but he's trying.

I voted for you in the primary and in the general but not again.
13
Mike, you forgot to mention that once we finish building all of this nifty rail, it will cost the city millions more dollars per year in subsidies to operate than buses currently do.

Are you aware how much money the SLUT burns up each year in operational costs? Or even worse, Portland's streetcars? Where does that budget come from?
14
Lotsa McGinn on Slog today, huh?
15
@13, the third stadium will magically pay for it. Somehow...just trust him.
16
@14, and expect much much more in the months to come! Slog was really behind McGinn 4 years ago and now with him not being very popular he's going back to a part of his base support.
17
I think McGinn expected the arena deal to be his ace in the hole. The City Council managed to steal credit for that, which was a masterful stroke for them.

But don't forget: It started in the Mayor's office, basketball fans.
18
@13 compared to the SR-99 boondoggle?

The toll revenue shortfall from that makes this pennies on the dollar.
19
Oh, and for those of you who think McGinn has been terrible on issues like police accountability: Mayor Burgess.

Say that out loud a few times, and then think about the issue again.
20
Unlike early media assumptions of these studies, this looks well thought out and will leave room for the Seattle Subway. Thanks for posting.
21
@19: Right, Burgess' experience as a police officer is really going to work against him when it comes to managing the SPD.

It's a moot point, however, given that Pete Holmes is going to be our next mayor.
22
I don't live in Seattle, I live in Cleveland, 100 years ago we were where you are today. It's been a long decline. I'm not familiar with your current local politics so won't comment on them. I will tell you this however. These types of projects matter, they matter in ways you don't expect. They matter big time when your no longer the hot spot and ascending.

Cleveland would be a total shit hole to live in if hadn't been for some major public amenities put in place when we were the shit, when our "millionaires row" was known worldwide.

When your thinking about this type of stuff, try and look down the road 100 years. And I don't mean just Rail and public transportation systems, we sorta dropped the ball on that one, but parks and recreation, educational institutions, museums, Arts & theater, sports teams, Utilities (congratulations your pubic electric utility is still producing power) your port and lake front er ocean front.....etc I think you get my point.

These aren't short term short return investments, they will be there to catch you when you start to decline.
23
Michael McGinn, is such a corrupt sack of shit, ain't he? Is there any developer or billionaire he won't suck up to? Is there any lie he won't tell? Buh-bye, you idiot. Maybe your new butt-buddy Chris Hansen will give you a job selling peanuts and beer in his arena.
24
There is no way to build rail to West Seattle and not take up two lanes that are for cars on the bridge. And there is no room to build rail on any West Seattle streets with out displacing cars.
25
Seandr @21, Cops aren't the best at policing cops. Burgess would overlook the occasional unprovoked beating of a citizen in order to avoid impugning the authority of the police.

Remember Burgess' panhandling bill, which McGinn vetoed? That's the type of Seattle Burgess wants: Sanitized for the wealthy, ignoring the rights of the disadvantaged.
26
Seattle is falling behind San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston and SLC in terms of aggressive transit planning for their city's respective cores. It's time to actually get a move on and do the same here.
27
@23 so how many times do you plan to sneak in line again tonite to get a free beer?
28
@2 - I think Mayor McGinn's plan to address West Seattle's transportation issues has been totally clear. By not funding any reasonable transit solutions that service the area, and choosing the solution for the viaduct issue that would cost the most and do the least to eleviate congestion, his plan is to create such an enormous cluster-fuck that property values will plummet to a level where all the underwater homeowners have no option but to walk away from their houses and move into tiny apartments in the city. West Seattle will then be like a giant tent city - but the homeless will just get to live in the abandoned bank owned houses. It's a very progressive solution, really.
29
@2 - I think McGinn is hoping that West Seattle home values drop so low that everyone is forced to walk away from their underwater mortgages and leave their homes vacant, to instead house the cities homeless in a giant peninsula sized tent-city. It's very progressive actually - and the only explanation for the Tunnel, the lack of transit, the complete cluster-fuck of a renovation on the bridge and the fact that there are no services planned.
30
I should point out that 26,000 people a day is about one-third the current revised projection usage for the SR-99 Billionaires Tunnel ... but at 1/2500th the price that means literally ONE HUNDRED TIMES AS MANY COMMUTERS PER DOLLAR for McGinn's plan.

It's all about the ridership. And the Streetcar Pub Crawls.
31
Can we dedicate some money to throw at Light rail so they could possibly speed up construction? I'd like to be able to ride to Northgate or Ballard before I'm dead.

32
To build the eastlake light rail you'd probably have to remove parking and/or mess up a major cycling commuter route. But I have an easy fix!

Just buy this ONE PROPERTY:

http://goo.gl/maps/rd7ch

...and turn it into a park with bike lane. Suddenly you've got a beautiful waterfront ride with no hills all the way from the U to downtown.
33
Looks like a whole lot of analyzing and not a whole lot of doing, and a whole lot of tax payer dollars we do not have going into the pockets of well connected consultants.

I will be glad to see McGinn tossed out on his ass next election.

Unemployment would be fitting for a mayor who looks like a bum.
34
Mr McGinn, why are you writing about this 5 million dollars instead of the 100s of millions of dollars you and the council are risking on a new stadium? Your priorities seem to be seriously broken.
35
@33 exactly my thoughts! fuck planning, let's just get out there and lay down some track in the middle of the street, and hope it all works out!
36
Good on you Mayor McGinn for participating on SLOG.
37
Quick! Someone check the I.P. logs on City Hall's computer network! Mikey's staff has been posting here again.
38
Perhaps it's time to reassess the need for West Seattle. Those studies were done before the new arena was proposed and before they approved a few dozen new condo and apartment buildings for construction. If they're so concerned about traffic in sodo (and they should be) the solution with the biggest impact would be to get folks on to a train and off the roads. If they don't do something drastic sodo is going to be gridlocked with commuting west seattlites avoiding the tunnel and sports enthusiasts attending the hundreds (thousands?) of games.
39
@25: Burgess's aggressive panhandling bill was a symbolic effort to change public perception about public safety in Belltown and Pioneer Square. Both of those areas could have really used the help in order to stop the hemorrhaging of high-profile businesses to Capitol Hill and South Lake Union.

As for the SPD, they've basically make Mike "the hippy" McGinn their bitch, and as a result, the opportunity afforded by the DOJ was completely wasted. The city needs a politically savvy mayor with the brains and balls to outmaneuver the police union. Burgess might be the guy (in part because he understands how the SPD works), although I think Pete Holmes is a better bet.
40
@25: "Sanitized for the wealthy"

Not quite. Really, the bill was about "sanitizing" Pioneer Square and Belltown for women so that they could feel safe. I don't know a single woman who enjoys being harassed on the street for money by drunk and/or mentally deranged men. As a result, many women won't go to Belltown or Pioneer square alone, and others avoid those places altogether.

But not you! You like your streets gritty and free of females!
41
Is the • $2 million for a corridor analysis of a high-capacity transit line from downtown to University District, via Eastlake. If approved by the council, this work would begin next year.
the best use of money since the link lightrail is already going from Downtown to the U district?
42
Is the -• $2 million for a corridor analysis of a high-capacity transit line from downtown to University District, via Eastlake. -the best use of money since the link light rail already is going to go from Downtown to the U District?
43
"without getting stuck in traffic"

buses bikes and pedestrians cause most 'stuck in traffic' situations - that and people that don't merge to the last minute. Oh and rich people in their sailboats going under the canal bridges at rush hour. From my observation these are most likely the same people that step off into traffic without looking and ride their bikes up the middle of a row of cars while screaming like an illiterate lobotomy patient "3 FEET 3 FEET!!"

So yes yes yes please ignore all of us addicted to fossil fuel air ruining jerks that are usually waiting for bikes and pedestrians playing out in the street and at bridges and build a bike path instead. And yeah spend half a million for a few asshats to look at the site and draw up a plan. Then ignore your neighbor when they walk past you and give a nice full on Seattle Freeze while tweeting about food trucks and how "you're such a foodie" Ciao!
44
22, I couldn't agree more. I grew up in Cleveland and now I live in Seattle. TRUST ME people of Seattle, the political world here is heaven compared to that in Cleveland.

Cleveland has completely fallen off the map because for decades, the city politicians and industrial tycoons abused its greatest amenity (the lakefront) for steel production. Now the city is left with hundreds of acres of polluted land, a horrible economy, and the frustration that none of the political leaders of the past had the foresight to consider what sort of implications their actions would have on the future.

There is a lot of building going on right now in Seattle and I know that can be scary to tax payers, but this sort of building is the kind of stuff that will make Seattle a world competitor in the future. When other cities are building highways and parking lots, Seattle is prioritizing rail, public parks, and bicycle infrastructure. There has been a major cultural shift happening in the last few years and ignoring that would go completely against what Seattle is all about. Gas is too expensive, people like to ride bikes, young people are flocking to cities. All of these things are translating into more people-oriented cities as opposed to a car-oriented cities. Mcginn has embraced this notion and Seattle will be better in the long run for it.

45
Narb - there are plenty of people who'd like to stop at points between downtown and the U District which aren't Capitol Hill (the one station on the light rail line).

That said, I'd argue that route should be lower priority than other efforts. I am not a fan of the at-grade streetcar solution from downtown-Fremont-Ballard, and I think a bridge across the ship canal is going to be expensive (even if it's pedestrian/bicycle/transit only) and require ongoing operations costs (I can't see how you can do it without it being a drawbridge, requiring an operator). But I can't see how you provide anything remotely close to reasonably on-time service without a new bridge; the Fremont Bridge makes life difficult for the existing Metro service.

I'm also vehemently not a fan of extending BRT all the way to Madison Park. As someone noted above, the #11 is usually pretty close to empty once it passes Madison Valley, particularly at off-peak hours. Plus, I am suspecting the BRT solution will have to be electric trolley bus service, and I can't see Madison Park wanting overhead wire back when they fought so hard to get rid of it in the first place.
46
saendr @40: Really, the bill was about "sanitizing" Pioneer Square and Belltown for women so that they could feel safe.

Huh? That's a very, very narrow interpretation of the bill's intents. Burgess never framed the intent of the bill that way. It seems you are inventing a straw man.

You like your streets gritty and free of females!

Oh, I see. You're trolling me. Good luck with that.
47
To build the eastlake light rail you'd probably have to remove parking and/or mess up a major cycling commuter route.

"Major cycling commuter route." Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
48
Completely agree with #2 here. West Seattle is a virtual island, when the bridge is out, the busses are stuck just like a car. So not sure how we think Rapid Ride will solve for our transit issues. Rail would be the way to go. Is it simply a technical issue? Or a perceived demand issue?
49
Could we stop talking about Cleveland now? Frankly, no one cares except for the two people who used to live there.
50
There has been a major cultural shift happening in the last few years and ignoring that would go completely against what Seattle is all about. Gas is too expensive, people like to ride bikes, young people are flocking to cities. All of these things are translating into more people-oriented cities as opposed to a car-oriented cities. Mcginn has embraced this notion and Seattle will be better in the long run for it.

If any of this is true, why has the percentage of people in Seattle who own cars not changed in 10 years, and why do more people own three cars than own none? And why is McGinn, the lying shithead, the least popular Seattle mayor in several decades?
51
What it is about rail, a technology that's nearly 200 years old, that makes the hipsters think it's so "future oriented," anyway?
52
McGinn is unpopular because Seattle's vile business associations resent his agenda of pro-transit, and because Seattle's over-educated psuedo-progressives are easily fooled into believing that Seattle transportation planners have any intention to build effective transit service nor design streets to manage traffic safely. The money trail always leads to automobile-related business interests who have created and will maintain the automobile dependency as a cash cow. They find amusement watching people suffer and die.
McGinn has been overwhelmed by Seattle's vile business associations.
53
Oh silly Mister G,

The point is that if you're so fed up with progressive infrastructure and politics maybe you should move to a city like Cleveland where you'll have ACTUAL political corruption and all the road you want for your "3 cars". If you do live in Seattle, you're a lot luckier than most people and clearly you don't realize that.

54
Gee, if you don't like Cleveland you can move to Somalia. Which, by the way, I have no more interest in than I have in Cleveland. Why the fuck do you keep talking about Cleveland? Who gives a shit about Cleveland? If you're trying to convince us that Cleveland is a shithole, consider us convinced.
55
I'm confused. Why duplicate the Link Light rail line from downtown to the U district? Technology gives us the possibility of building a 21st century transit system. See http://www.qi2.com/index.php/transportat…
56
Oh I'm not trying to convince you of anything that would obviously a lost cause. I'm simply saying that you sound like a spoiled baby complaining about how awful things are in one of the most privileged cities in the country.

And this has nothing to do with Somolia, last I checked. I didn't like Cleveland so I moved to Seattle where the people like me outnumber the people like you.
57
We'll see who outnumbers whom when the corrupt shithead you love so much stands for re-election.
58
West Seattle to Ballard though downtown was the HIGHEST capacity route, which is why the monorail folks sought to build that first. MLK to Northgate was second. Which is why Light rail went there. You would have to build a separate light rail bridge to West Seattle and that would be expensive but probably not as expensive as all of the productivity lost and gas burned while sitting in traffic on mind-bogglingly stupid highway design (1 lane exit for West Seattle AND Beacon Hill? who was the genius who thought that was a good idea?)
59
How about drilling a bicycle tunnel from West Seattle to Ballard? If we can pay a billionaire and his bondholders $350 million for a new basketball arena, we can afford that tunnel.
60
I agree. What about adding a bicycle lane to the Monorail? I feel like those bike riders are really being disenfranchised because they can't ride 200 feet above street level. And the nice thing is they won't have to avoid pedestrians at that elevation!
61
By the way, you know where the shithead got that $5 million? From the libraries. This is what happens when you approve a dedicated tax levy. Of course, The Stranger's readers are mainly renters who actually don't think they pay property taxes.
62
Buss transit and bike routs are great. I am all for alternative means of transport for students, politicians, yuppies and unemployed hipsters, but last I checked Seattle transit will not allow me to load 10 foot copper pipe, 4x8 plywood, drywall, lumber and most of my power tools onboard. I suppose I could load all these needed items on a bike trailer and ride up Boren avenue during rush hour.
I live and work in Seattle, just saying.
I will not vote for Bike McShwin again.
63
To Mister G,
Renters vote for levies, then there landlord raises there rent and they bitch about it.