As usual, if you need to go CROSSTOWN, you're fucked.
While I agree with most of the analysis, it should be noted that we're doing a backwards look by using what we already do to guide this, rather than what we will be doing in a post-2020 world where carbon tax is a fact of business life, oil is at a premium, and the pro-terrorist Republicant ideas are a proven ant-American dead end.
Nothing would benefit if all the street cars were surfaced. If its not elevated or tunneled then you you arent traveling any faster than electric buses and you risk idiots (bike or car) hitting or getting hit by the street car.

Stick with electric buses, it works, proven and cheaper. Lets hold off on light rail until we can afford more tunnels or elevated platforms.
Lake Union needs a ferry.
Christ on a cracker. F minus.
Cienna, Martin's not on CTAC-III. I think he's on the Transit Master Plan Task Force
The other thing is, just a visual look at the areas designated high priority shows that the U Dist to Fremont route on N 45th lacks sufficient existing density to justify it, other than as a way to provide crosstown BRT (removing parking lanes) or light rail to points further West. The existing building heights and authorized construction just doesn't have enough density.

If we killed the Tunnel Of Tax Wasting and chose a more sensible Surface Plus Transit or Rebuilt Viaduct, then we'd be able to leverage the remaining tax authority to expand, of course, but otherwise we can't authorize that much debt due to the required 520 rebuild and corridor, plus the Mercer Millionaires Mess. We'll be over our Constitutional bonding authority and running on fumes at that point, with an electorate in Seattle that will be very upset with $10 roundtrip tolls and $10,000 per household in additional property taxes, meaning nothing will get built.

Best to just kill the Deeply Borrowed Tunnel, then.
"The people would like to get over from West Seattle to the Columbia city neighborhood, that corridor hasn’t been identified,"

Becuz there aren't that MANY of "THE PEOPLES".
@8 see, the thing is, we have Ballard and West Seattle and Columbia City all designated for large-scale population growth. If you look at where people lived in 1912, 1960, 1992, and 2010 you'd get an idea, but the zoning only recently occurred.

Which gets back to the "do you build transit where housing will be or where it already is" debate. Land and planning is cheaper (about 50-70 pct of total cost, less operations) if you do it before instead of after.

But that requires forethought.
@7, what the fuck are you talking about? For starters, 45th DOESN'T GO TO FREMONT.

For seconds, the traffic volume IS there; the people doing this study ACTUALLY MEASURED THE TRAFFIC, rather than relying on imaginary bullshit like you.

For thirds, removing parking lanes is DISASTROUS and KILLS NEIGHBORHOODS as streets are converted into expressways. Take the parking lanes off of 45th and every single business in Wallingford shuts down a week later. Parked cars are a buffer between pedestrians and speeding traffic; remove them, and the peds instantly disappear.


45th is THE key east-west route for the northern half of the city, and maybe the most important E-W street anywhere, in a city that has hardly any of them. But it's also a key retail strip destination, for almost its entire length. E-W is the direction it's profoundly difficult to travel in this city (I can get to the airport in 12 minutes, but it takes 45 to get to Sand Point), and thus the one that could benefit most from transit. Even if it's not a straight U-Village-to-Shilshole run, some segments absolutely make sense.

You on the other hand never do.
@9, you know nothing, nothing, nothing about zoning in Ballard or West Seattle or Columbia City. You're twenty years behind the times.
@6, thanks! I will fix.
@10 yes it does. On Neighborhood Zoning, we consider the Fremont area to start at Stone Way N.

You probably think Freelard is over in West Seattle, and have no idea how many mini parks we've built north of the Ship Canal, you clueless dweeb.
I moved here twelve years ago and quickly decided that West Seattle was a great place to long as you either worked in West Seattle, or didn't mind being funneled onto the West Seattle Bridge to get to the office. I'm not sure that the people already living there have really come to terms with that.
@13: fuck you. The strip of 45th that passes through the northern edge of Fremont isn't really Fremont, and you know it. Fremont means DOWNTOWN FREMONT. I pass through these neighborhoods EVERY FUCKING DAY, shithead, and unlike you I have my eyes open. The current buses through here are packed; they're as full as any in the system outside of the downtown core. The street is a crawl its entire length. Fucking AURORA goes through here. Your assertion that there's no traffic through this area, or all the way along 45th through Wallingford, is COMPLETE BULLSHIT.

YOU are complete bullshit. You are a fucking toilet of a human being.

Shove your miniparks up your ass, Will. You always want to change the subject when people call you on your bullshit but it's NOT WORKING. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU.
The solution to W. Seattle --> Columbia City (or downtown, or the airport, etc.):

Gondola. Cheap, fast and easy to build, easily zips over water, hills, and built-up urban areas. Never have to wait for a bus. Connect it to SoDo light rail station from West Seattle, and you're done. Save real rail for places with real demand.
@4 A group of people in Fremont are looking into creating a Lake Union ferry with stops in Fremont, South Lake Union and the U-District. But, they're having trouble finding available dock space, especially in Fremont. Not likely to ever happen, but the discussion is out there.
@16, "never have to wait for a bus" is a bit disingenuous when you'd have to wait for a gondola instead.

If this proposal is supposed to serve poor communities, how come there are almost no lines of any color in those communities? It's fine to say "White spaces on this map don’t mean existing transit services isn’t [sic] already there" but the fact is they AREN'T already there -- the white spaces in the south of the city are underserved. E-W is underserved. There is no consideration of possible routes that might yield good results in the future but are not currently served AT ALL -- like West Seattle-Columbia City. Columbia City already got screwed by transit once -- their light rail stop is a mile away -- now they're going to get screwed again?

Go downtown, my son, go downtown. That's the only routes we have, the only routes we know, the only routes we'll serve in the future.
Tom Rasmussen is right that crosstown connections in the south end are horrible, but it makes little sense for the city to fund capital improvements for routes that Metro doesn't run.
Fnarf @1, I see several crosstown routes on Cienna's map. In fact, several east-west corridors made the cut for projects to make their transit experience a little less horrible.

It's south of downtown where there's no relief for the crosstown traveler.
@17, which is too bad, because Fremont is the most usable of those destinations. SLU and the U District are too far from the water to draw serious foot traffic. Shame about the gigantic, soul-deadening office and hospital complexes that have been built along all three of those waterfronts, which effectively double or triple the felt distance (as opposed to usable, interesting shops). It's an intriguing idea.
As a WS resident, I don't have any particular interest in Columbia City, but I do like going to Bumbershoot, the U-district street fair. and the Georgetown Arts Festival; however, no timely options are available other than the car.

The gondolas would be potentially helpful not for the lack of waiting but rather the right of way advantage, which will surely come in handy when heavy downtown traffic in large part due to toll advoidance of the new 99 back up the buses, including the so-callled palliative to West Seattle transit woes--Rapid Ride.
@8 - I know many people who live in Columbia City and work in West Seattle. Most of them drive, because by bus it's an hour if you're lucky, whereas by car it's 15 minutes.

Fnarf is right about the lack of E-W transit. Columbia City has some great bars - as does Georgetown - but I live in West Seattle and don't drive when I drink, so I almost never go.
Ahem, not to be a dick but, Denny Way*
@20, the only one I see with a dark line is 45th. That's the most important one, but the whole reason E-W is so difficult is because there are so few through routes. Going north, you have:

40th - gets tangled in a clusterfuck of intertwined stop signs under I-5

45th - impossible traffic around the clock from Ballard to U Village

50th - only goes a part of the way

55th - does not exist

60th - does not exist

65th - impossibly interrupted by Aurora and Green Lake

70th - does not exist

75th - does not exist west of I-5

80th - useless as an arterial

85th - does not exist east of I-5

90th - does not exist

92nd - useful "secret" route for Aurora to just E of I-5 only

100th - does not exist

Holman/105th/Northgate - solid route but not straight

110th - does not exist

115th - does not exist

120th - does not exist

125th - interrupted by Haller Lake, must use 130th

130th - does not exist

135th - does not exist

140th - does not exist

145th - city limits

These are car routes, but buses follow car routes. That's THREE seriously usable E-W routes in over a HUNDRED BLOCKS -- 45th, 85th, and Holman/Northgate. And none of the rail routes are E-W. The rest is cosmetic stuff like bus bulbs, which are nice but don't come close to solving the problem.

The south end is considerably worse off than this.

The city has spend fifty years exacerbating this problem by closing off alternate routes and diverting all traffic to those few arterial routes because of single-family neighborhoods. In addition to pure east-west travel there is a paucity of diagonal routes. The damage done by I-5 is still felt up and down the line. If you don't know how to navigate the handful of choke points through which everything must pass, cross-town traffic is simply not possible.

Some neighborhoods, like Beacon Hill and Columbia City, are ONLY realistically accessible from the north or the south. Neighborhoods like Delridge, Highland Park, and South Park are barely accessible from ANY direction.
You need to watch the entire PDF slideshow presentation and zoom in on the maps, Fnarf.

And once again you forgot the Nose of the Troll route, which is feasable.
@18 "when you'd have to wait for a gondola instead" No. Gondolas have a wait time of < a minute. You're thinking of Portland's aerial tram (which I disaprove of - it seems like a gondola would have worked much better and would have been cheaper). Gondolas are more like ski lifts - you hop in and it leaves, and by then there's another one waiting. Even the cheap monocable system can have the capacity of 40 buses running in each direction, so there shouldn't even ever be a line to get on.
Just thank the gods we finally have an honest mayor in this frigging town, (and I'm talking about at least the past 40 years)!

And The Stranger, for about THE ONLY FRIGGING TIME IN ITS EXISTENCE, actually endorsed this honest guy!

Anyway, I just want to know how much of this will be underground? Certainly seems like they are forever doing Rube Goldberg-like engineering (a comical perversion of true engineering) and unnecessarily putting everything under the frigging ground -- at ENORMOUS cost, and enormous expenditure of energy?

Building an at-grade slow light rail, under-the-frigging-ground is a complete botch of real engineering design. You build the high speed stuff underground tubular, and put an above-ground monorail system in place.

The developers have screwed up everything!

Say, fnarf, aren't you married to an Asian-American woman who used to be at Microsoft's hedge fund over in Kirkland?
@25, if you're saying the street grid has serious problems, you'll get no argument from me. That's well out of scope for the TMP.

But this plan is going to address three or four crosstown corridors -- don't forget Denny, and a bunch in the CD that aren't even on this map -- and make improvements to them. How extensive those improvements are remains to be seen, but they're there.

I don't think you're arguing that the north/south corridors should get less even though they score higher on density and demand metrics, but that's what's coming across in your comment. What the dark colors indicate is likelihood of heavy investment, like a surface rail line. What 45th needs is a tunnel, something that will have to wait for state action to be at all affordable.
If you follow the links to the PDF presentation, there are a series of maps associated with each slide, @29.
This map tells me what I already suspected--we need light rail tunneling under Queen Anne Hill to Fremont (and then north to surface at about 46th), PLUS a streetcar along Westlake to Fremont and then to Ballard. We need a cross-town light rail subway from Ballard at Market/15th to the U District via Wallingford roughly following 45th.

We also need to do something about Denny, but it seems too short to support light rail. Maybe take a lane to dedicate to buses?

Downtown-Ballard is not as important. Downtown-West Seattle is not as important. West Seattle to Columbia City is intriguing but should wait for the 45th and Queen Anne light rail lines.
@31 we previously identified two possible light rail pathways to cross there - tunneling is not optimal.

Major problem is the federal waterway crossing aspect.
@28, huh? Mrs. Fnarf is not Asian-American, has no association with Microsoft, and last set foot in Kirkland when she was six years old, X* years ago (* redacted in the name of my personal safety; let's say "more than twelve" and "less than a hundred").

@29, TUNNEL? Under 45th? You're bonkers. Train right down the middle. What it REALLY needs, of course, is a goddamn monorail, which wouldn't even have taken a lane away, but that dream is dead.

@31, I'd bring that light rail on 45th further west, to 24th. That intersection of Market & 15th is a wasteland and always will be (or as long as Safeway and Walgreens exist). The place you're trying to get to, the retail center, is west.

The advantage of Ballard-Downtown isn't Ballard-Downtown per se but the multitude of connections it opens up. But if the 45th line made a turn, and headed downtown, then you'd have a loop -- and something useful. Or turn it the other way, to the north. Lots of possibilities.

I would think the problem with Denny is steepness, not shortness. And Denny, for all its shortcomings, is almost usable as a bus route. I'd look elsewhere (south) first.
Martin@29, if we have to wait for state action on a tunnel, forget it--It seems like there are far too many rapid transit hating legislators on both sides of the aisle to expect any $$ from Olympia. We either have to put some county wide initiative to a vote or hope the Obama Administration can do us a solid for transit funding.
Um, where's the other half of the city? You know, the south half?
@35, see the link.
@ 36: My point is that the author chose to include an image with the story which only covered the downtown and northern part of the city. In fact, she chose to edit what was an image of the entire city into a portion which specifically and only covered the northern half. This is typical of the way most of Seattle regards the southern half of the city: not worth covering or mentioning.
@37 to be fair, this image shows most of the highest rated areas while still fitting in a reasonable sized graphic. Though she certainly could have cut off part of the top to fit in some of the south side.
@38, to be even fairer, she cut it this way so the legend was included. Which is at the top.
@34 Without legislative action there is insufficient taxing authority to pay for a tunnel that long. I agree we're screwed.
@33 people always tell me at grade is insufficient for that corridor, but you live there so if it's cool for you it's cool for me.

Elevated would also be fine, but the visual impact police would slaughter it.
Make N 45th one-way going east. Make N 50th one-way going west, from Sand Point all the way to Market. Synchronize the lights (excepting U.District).

I don't know how someone whose persona rests entirely on a projection of infallibility can get away with saying something as asinine as "Train right down the middle [of 45th]."

Um, yeah. Right down the middle of a 2-lane road. Then right down the middle of the 18% slope of Phinney Ridge. Genius!

The only way rapid transit is ever going to happen in the east-west, 45th-Market corridor is in the form of a tunnel, diverging from the under-construction light rail in the U District, boring deep beneath Wallingford, and emerging from the side of Phinney Ridge to run on the surface into Ballard (or, even better, continue in a cheaper cut-and-cover tunnel for that last mile).

And despite your screaming at Martin ("TUNNEL? Under 45th? You're bonkers.") and your ensuing demagoguery, that very corridor has already been approved for study under the 2008 Sound Transit 2 vote. Apparently, even the profoundly anti-urban Sound Transit board gets this one better than you.

And Martin @41:

I know that Fnarf is charismatic. I know that he succeeds in projecting authority on many topics. But you know better than him on this one. Why let this particular piece of bullshit slide?

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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