Patty Murray, Greg Nickels, Several Seattle City Council Members, Seattle City Council Hopeful Mike O'Brien, and Mike O'Brien's Bike All Went for a "Special Preview Ride" on Link Light Rail This Afternoon


What I most want to know is why did you elect Greg Nickels?

This man was no savior. He has given kickbacks to...well.

What is up with you people in Seattle?
In 2001, he was running against Mark Sidran. In 2005, he ran against Al Runte. Those are some of the reasons I've voted for Greg Nickels.
So, I guess this sort of begs the question: for how many of these pols will this be the first AND last time they ever set foot on one of these trains?
@3 Since most don't live or work on the line, probably yeah. I mean when would Murray or Gregoire ride it. Nickels works downtown but does not live on the line.

Patterson lives and works on the line so she might.

Just don't bring your bike.

Really. Cascade's little hissy fit over being able to bring them on opening day was pretty asinine.
Personally I think it begs the question about how ironic it is that only ... what 3? bikes fit on a given rail car? Soooo.... let's see... what I'm inferring is that they have 3 bike slots for a 30 person car? Or is each car a 50 person car? And on top of that, the design is so poor, that those 2 bikes in this example, already jut into the common areas interfering with other commuters?


And this is acceptable to everyone? And the talking heads were ignoring the obvious implications in their attempt at over joyous self promotion?

So ummm.... why hasn't anyone from The Stranger staff, pointed out this glaring oversight to anyone, especially given the opportunity at having the "invite only" select crowd there as a captive audience with the press?

And how exactly is this going to work when you have 20+ people get onto a train, and there is only slots for 5 or 6 or something to that effect? Are they allowed to board anyways? What do they do?

This whole thing is a complete fucking joke. Period.

First there is no adequate parking, so thousands of potential riders are expected to magically agree to walk block upon blocks away to reach the train, or else they are supposed to bike to the station,....only to find that a train with an available bike rack doesn't exist.


How much is/was the total cost of this folly again? How much are we paying these transit geniuses?
edit #5 above.

That was supposed to say "20+ people get onto a train, all having bikes, and there is only slots for 5 or 6"....

my bad.
@5 Only 3-5% of people bike regularly.

I agree that they should have a better means of storing bikes, but it is a pretty minor issue.
@5: Where would the parking lots go?
Frizzy, you have a huge cock.
@8 Light Rail needs parking garages along portions of the South line. It is the only way you will effectively get a large(r) portion of the riders in South King County to give up their vehicles in order to come into downtown. Would it not be a better alternative to have them drive in to ... let's say Tukwilla for arguments sake... riders from Kent, Renton, etc, who are somewhat close, whereby it would be a short trip (let's say 3 miles) to the local Light Rail parking garage. They would then take light rail in the rest of the way to their job downtown.

That is the target market for my logic. I'm not talking the folks who live 3 or 4 blocks off the rail line. Those folks likely already took buses, and very likely didn't own a vehicle in the first place.

Rather, I'm targeting the suburban folks living out in the hinterlands. Those who are further out than Rainier Valley. Give them an option to get to a Park and Ride garage scenario, whereby they could either take a bus from their house, or drive their vehicle to a nearby park and ride, and then pickup Light Rail into Seattle.

Until Sound Transit pulls it's collective head out of its ass and realizes that these are the folks clogging I 5 in the mornings, this entire project is simply a boondoggle shifting former Rainier Valley bus riders onto a fancy train to look cool.
98% of the people who post here don't leave their moms basement, much less capitol hill so it's pretty safe to post that here.

i'm looking at you, big toe, fnarf.
@3: "Begging the question" is a logical fallacy involving presupposing one's conclusion as a premise. It does not mean "leads one to ask."
@10: They have park and rides at the suburban stations. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason to put them in the middle of a city. Hell, Sound Transit keeps getting intermittent flack for putting P&Rs in East Link (South Bellevue, Bel-Red, Overlake), South Link (Tukwila Int'l, Sea-Tac, S 200th, Redondo/Star Lake) and North Link(Mountlake Terrace (triple its size), Lynnwood). They have already thought this through, something you clearly are incapable of doing.

That was a big deal in Roads and Transit, that is one reason it failed. People in the region keep hearing about how buses will whisk them away to their train but end up having to ask "why are there enough spaces for 75% of anticipated riders to drive to the station? How is this green if we're just killing rabbits and paving over them with 6 story parking garages?".

Putting parking garages outside of your suburban alignments has not and will not ever work. MAX does not put them in the city, Hiawatha Line does not put them in the city, LYNX does not put them in the city. And with MAX, the westside's two most-used stations do not even have P&Rs, and on the eastside, they had to make due with two park and rides, each with only a couple of hundred spaces and not 600 like Tukwila International.

You're an idiot.
You mean after having dozens of test trains running up and down this thing, this was the first time they tested the bike racks in the train cars? What kind of engineers are these?

oh, and @9, it's a whoozewhatsit, get it right.
It is hard to know who is more pathetic:
Washington's politicians or the boobs who write about them.
I heard that O'Brien is super tall and has a super tall bike. Can you confirm the size of his bike?
Are we a real city NOW?
world class, bitch.
Yes, obviously,

Tukwila = Les Halles,

Othello = Astor Place,

McLellan = Foggy Bottom.

Noted, asshole.

These bike racks still sound like a huge improvement over the racks on Sounder trains. Each Sounder car has rack space for two bikes, the second bike blocks the first bike so both bikes have to un-rack to get the first bike out, and the two rack slots face opposite directions, so the second bike has to be turned around inside a crowded train car to be moved into the first rack slot.

Alternatively, many cyclists just stand in the vestibule holding their bikes, and hop off and on at each station -- less hassle than using the racks.
Reality Check @5:

This whole thing is a complete fucking joke. Period.

First there is no adequate parking, so thousands of potential riders are expected to magically agree to walk block upon blocks away to reach the train, or else they are supposed to bike to the station,....only to find that a train with an available bike rack doesn't exist.

Reality Check, you sound like the kind of individual who simultaneously believes they know more about coaching football than Mike Holmgren, more about fighting wars than Dwight Eisenhower, and more about energy than Steven Chu. That is, you apparently fashion yourself an armchair expert in everything when in fact you have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm not about to say the folks at Sound Transit are the Holmgren/Eisenhower/Chu of transit planning. Not to mention, they're constrained by political realities. But they actually know their field, and you don't.

Spending a few billion dollars on a mass transit system only to focus on building park-and-rides around the stations is a monumentally boneheaded, self-defeating, what's-the-point decision akin to creating a public health insurance option and then giving it no power to negotiate. But hey, Reality Check, you're the expert at everything, so I guess there's no telling you.
Looking forward to riding this thing to work tonight, if the lines aren't too long. If they are, I guess I'll just catch a bus like usual.
Also, looking at the pictures, I think the bike rack might work better if you hang it by the BACK wheel instead of the front.; so the bike can't swing itself by turning its handlebars.
@10 Nobody from Renton, Kent, etc. is worried about the light rail because there are P & R lots a lot closer from which they can take the Sounder or a bus in to Seattle.
The people who live on the South end with bikes could just... I don't know... ride them Downtown? And vice versa?

I mean, isn't that what cyclists crusade for, the ability to road-ride 5-10 miles to work? I'd buy into the trains needing better racks if they were going 30-40 miles, but the line goes about 15 miles south of town.
Isn't Christopher one of the biggest douches who defends critical mass?

And now he's whining about support for bikers? Well he can FUCK OFF. Why should anyone bother cooperating with such a selfish asshole like that.
Well, all I can say, Mark in Colorado, is that some of us voted for him the first time but not the second time, and not next time either, because he used to be a pretty decent King County Council member. He went over to the dark side quickly, probably because he hired Tim Ceis (a.k.a. "The Shark") to be his brain, er...his Deputy Mayor. It's been all downhill since then. He sure is porky in the photo...
As for Tukwila residents using this train, consider the fact that Tukwila had a whopping 17,092 residents. Population change since 2000: -0.5%. A lot more people WORK in Tukwila, but if they don't live near the line, it will be hard for them to use this train to commute to work because:

(1) the entire line has NO park & rides, nor are any planned because the City of Seattle's brain trust think they are ugly and that people should simply walk to the train stations. A single glance at Mayor Jowly will tell you that he never walks anywhere (OK, I will concede that he does walk from his car to the elevator in the City Hall parking lot...). If he did, why would he be so fat? In contrast, there are 18 Metro-designated parking lots along the Max lines within the city limits of Portland.

(2) The train station is in the middle of freakin' nowhere, on about a mile south of the airport on the far side of a 6+ lane state highway, and actually within spitting distance of Sea-Tac (population in 2008: 25,840). It's a viable option for anyone who lives downtown or somewhere along the line in South Seattle (assuming they can walk to the station...) and works at the airport, but a person would need a car to get from the Tukwila station to the valley floor where the mall and zillions of factories and warehouses are in that place that people think of when they visualize "Tukwila."
Great a new cheap method to get wanna be gansters from the south-end to downtown seattle to start shit and deal drugs. way to go Seattle! Because it is important to not actually serve the people who pay the taxes.
I checked out several stations today and wow was this an overstaffed, over-structured kick-off! I'm glad they planned for huge crowds but where possible plans should be flexible enough so that when a handful of people are down on the platform of the University Street station at 11:15 you don't have staff saying wait here and we'll let you down there in a few minutes.

Also, installing green, blue and white balloons on numerous light poles around the Columbia City area was a bit overkill. I stood on the yellow pump strip at the Pioneer Square station (with no train in sight) and a staffer was obligate to nicely walk over and ask me to stay off the yellow dots. Silly but well intended. Pine Street was closed and had barriers up for the huge crowds which were absent. I ended up taking the train from Pioneer Square Station to Westlake. Not a bad trip but the whole thing is pretty silly. I wish there were turnstiles and pay gates but at least the system won't cost anything to ride (on the honor system.)
@12, it does now. Language changes.
Languages change only for the worse when we lose useful terms for things.
park-and-ride lots inside Seattle would not be cost-effective; they would cost at least $30K/space; the land is too valuable; the traffic they would generate would slow bus service; Seattle south of North 85th Street, including all of southeast Seattle was developed before WWII around a streetcar network; it has a complete street grid; intending riders can walk or take the bus to Link.
Park and ride lots completely obliterate density. That's not so bad in the wasteland near the Tukwila station, but would be ridiculous at any of the planned Seattle or Eastside stations. They recently redeveloped one of the Redmond stations as they are trying to mitigate the awful sprawl there.

There's currently a park and ride by the planned Roosevelt station. I really hope they redevelop it, as it's really stunting the growth of that neighborhood.
PS - Really good Slog post!
Mike O'Brien is just what Seattle needs! Time for some new blood on the council that is willing to "do something" rather than just talk about it!! Ballots are coming out soon, hope the rest of this city feels the same way..
When the main line is FINISHED it will have public parking garages at Sea-Tac and Northgate and next to Husky Stadium.

Oh and there's one next to Westlake Mall already. And the International District.

No more parking for you. Stop whining.
Finally, an efficient means for me to travel to the Rainier Valley and Tukwila! Indeed, this is certainly the most important thing to happen to this city (and me personally) in a long time.

interestingly enough, the bike slots on almost every other light rail train i have ever been on are oriented the opposite way (the tires facing front to back not side to side as is on link) with deliberately designed spaces for bikes that ensure the swaying as the train turns is minimized with a lower "gutter" similar to a triple bus bike rack. The LINK trains seem to have been designed to permit bike slots as an option or least until someone sues ST for being smacked in the head by a set of handlebars. ST should correct this immediately.