a dance, eh ? Oh the horrors of what I'd do on Roger Valdez' grave.
He was elected, right? So who do we blame.......
Wow, is Keck even paying his journalists these days? I mean, advocacy journalism is one thing, but "I'm writing as badly as I can" hack and slash? I guess Ansel was more of the forerunner than the outlier. Sad.
@ 3 Yes.
Speaking of...would you do me a favor and look just a little to the right?
I still don't share The Stranger's enthusiasm for districts, and fear it'll empower anti-density NIMBY housing supply restrictionists, but if districts helped chase out Rasmussen that's a big point in their favor for transit users, renters, and urbanists.
4 to go

Guillotines already set up and waiting

All those who worship Bertha will be given their just reward ...
@4: So if they play dirty we can play dirty. That may suit your passions but it is all mush for your readers. Please make a note of it.
Roger Valdez isn't a transit advocate. He's a single-issue developer shill.
Is that some kind of cheap-o plastic podium? It kinda looks like it's made out of porta-potty scraps or something...
First Frizzelle, now Keck. Is trolling now considered a viable journalistic venue at The Stranger?
Tom did ok and was a major improvement over his predecessor Margaret Pageler. He was also a sincere and long term advocate for the elderly and homeless and any else in need of human services.

Our transit problems are due to Seattle's geography and misguided schemes to team up with the County or State. It is not Tom' s fault that we did not start building a subway system in the '70s.
@8, Yes, exactly. Valdez only cares about developer's interests. His glee that Rasmussen will be gone almost makes me miss Rasmussen.
Why the animus against Valdez?
You don't agree with him? Fine.

But your personalization of the issue and using him as an enemy only shows that he is effective.

So he will have the last laugh, my friends.
I have a hard time taking seriously any politician in our region who claims to be pro-transit and comes down in favor of buses over light rail. Either (A) you're anti-transit but you know that coming out as such is poison at the polls or (B) you have no fuckin' clue how transportation and land-use economics works, or for that matter how people's lives work. I've always put Nick Licata in the (B) "no fuckin' clue" camp, and so I am absolutely thrilled to see that he won't be running again.

I've never viewed Tom Rasmussen that way. I campaigned for him back in 2003 because I viewed him as a more pro-transit alternative to the incumbent Margaret Pageler. I remember he hired Rob Johnson's former TCC colleague Bill LaBorde as his transportation guru. But I don't pay such close attention to City Council, so I'm willing to hear out someone who does pay close attention, namely Rob Johnson:
Johnson compares Rasmussen to Licata, saying both have been skeptical of street cars and light rail. “I wouldn’t call them opponents of those but it has translated into both of them being stronger bus advocates.”

Now that I think about it, in his four years as transportation chair with Mike McGinn as mayor, all I can remember is Rasmussen expending political energy trying to poke McGinn in the eye, even if it meant coming out as anti-light rail; I don't remember him championing light rail expansion or Sound Transit 3, or at least championing it enough to catch the attention of those of us who aren't paying attention.

So yeah, I'm willing to admit Tom Rasmussen hasn't measured up as the leader on transportation I'd hoped he'd be. And considering the poll Sound Transit just commissioned that shows overwhelming regional support for light rail expansion, it looks like he'd have some catching up to do just to be a follower.
@14, you begin with "I have a hard time taking seriously any politician in our region who claims to be pro-transit and comes down in favor of buses over light rail. " The first thing any serious transit guy learns is that transit is not one mode over another, it's creating a system with multiple modes, each in an appropriate place.

Transit is a system, system, system. It is NOT light rail vs. buses.
RDPence @15, you're really going out of your way to put words into my mouth, and I'm puzzled why.

When I'm talking about "pro-transit" politicians favoring buses over light rail, I'm obviously talking about situations where light rail has even been a consideration. Every buses-only funding measure that's been on the ballot over the past decade-plus I've voted for, and I've donated money and/or volunteered for most, if not all, of them.

Yes, "transit is a system." The problem I have isn't with leaders who see buses as part of that system. It's with leaders who don't see light rail as a bigger part of that system, or leaders who, whenever any corridor comes up for consideration for light rail, always say, "Oh, that's so expensive. Let's do buses there instead."
I love transit. I love the concept of light rail. When the local bus (the 174, not the express 194) can get to the same destination (Sea-Tac Airport) 2 minutes ahead of the light rail, that's a system so dysfunctional money needs to stop being thrown at it.

Light rail is a fantastic idea. Sound Transit and the RTID has done its best to make sure we have gotten the absolute worst possible light rail system for the region. Even the old Stranger maps knew better than to build the Rainier Valley spur on the same route as the Airport line (opting instead to serve those neighborhoods on the Auburn line). We are literally moving backwards in regards to transit quality in this region, with the transit footprint intentionally being pulled out of the suburban neighborhoods that need it (as they have literally no other option other than automobiles) and in to dense urban neighborhoods that have light rail, monorail, bicycle, and automobile options.

The response isn't "Oh, that's so expensive. Let's do buses there instead." so much as it is "You've never constructed a single length of light rail on time or on budget. You've never built a light rail line that makes sense for the region. Why would I trust anything coming out of your mouth now regarding a light rail project?". Sound Transit and the RTID has lost all credibility. Light rail passes in this region not because anybody likes the current system but because people in the region hope in vain that throwing good money after bad will fix the problem somehow.
Libertine @17, I suppose by your logic if we're unhappy with the police we should disband the police force. There are some services only government (or maybe public-private partnerships) can deliver. An essential service doesn't become any less essential because it's being poorly delivered. The solution to bad government is not no government; it's good government.

But is Sound Transit even doing its job so poorly? What are you going to say when the U-District line opens in 2016 and we have a super-fast subway from downtown to Capitol Hill to the U-District? That's a huge improvement over the existing Central Link route, and even then the existing line is doing just fine in terms of ridership.
@5 Your meme ("anti-density NIMBY housing supply restrictionists") is pretty lame. The desire for rational planning, mitigation of impacts, and requirement of infrastructure (transit!) to support increased density is not NIMBY. And you'll find that most of us who you call NIMBYs like living in big cities (i.e., we're "urbanists") and we use and support rail, bike lanes, good bus feeders, etc). And recall that renters supported district elections more than homeowners.

You sound like Roger Valdez. Speaking of whom, check out his posts at Goldies' Facebook "Rent Control Would be Crazy!" thread. Is that how you want to come across?
Cressona @16, I was not putting words into your mouth, I was using your words from your comment, in a direct quote no less. Thanks or clarifying what you actually meant to say.
#18, I understand the need for a transportation plan. I mentioned as much. But at this point in time literally doing nothing would be better than the current course of action. At the very least we'd have the "tax base" freed up to do something halfway decent as opposed to the current trends.
Good government does not exist. There is bad government and less bad government. The RTID is not less bad government.
Regarding the Link expansion from Convention Place to Husky Stadium, I do not see the huge improvement that is going to make. Since it empties out on the far corner of the University, few college students will be taking it unless Metro removes the 71, 72, and 73. If the destruction of transit in Seatac is any indication (rerouting busses through Tukwila has been a detriment to both cities in terms of transit throughput), this Link expansion will result in the removal of lines like the 43, both destroying needed redundancy (busses and Light Rail should still serve the same areas, so that busses can catch the spots the light rail can't reach) and reducing the transit footprint for the back side of Cap Hill/Montlake.
By the way, that expansion to the U District? Part of the original 1996 tax structure, scheduled to be finished in 2006. That plan supposedly could pay for light rail all the way to Northgate (it was amended to include that section in 1998). Which makes the ST2 vote very curious, at it pays for the already supposedly paid for U District to Northgate section (and expands it to Lynnwood).
Then there's the matter of the broken promises to people in Federal Way, where the long promised line to 320th has become a line that may stop at Angle Lake just south of Seatac. I could go on, listing failure after failure after money grab after lie.
So could you, if you actually paid attention to what's been going on.
Of course rent control would be crazy. Totally stupid idea (though I understand the well-meaning but mid-guided impulse to control.)
@22 And your post explains so well why control over rent gouging is "totally stupid." Just like it's totally stupid to be living in the worst gilded age (wealth/income/political power inequities) since the Gilded Age. The two are related.

Id advise you to pop over to Seattle Transit Blog and take a look at the Link numbers, their trends, and the projections for ULink. TONS of people will take ULink! It will be so much faster than current routes.

Have you ever been at Westlake and wanted to go up the to the Hill, but didn't want to walk or sit on a bus for 20 minutes? Taking ULink will be under 5 minutes. University District to downtown in under 15, even during rush hour. According to Metro's estimates, it will actually be faster to bike from Ballard to UW, then take ULink downtown, then it will be to take the bus in from ballard. Cause a subway is just that much faster.
#24, I don't think much of Link projections. They're notoriously overinflated. Just look at the original Link projections vs. the reality. I'm happy with the number of current people taking Link, just not the route, the delays, and the cost overruns. I've always treated the ridership projections as overinflated and never used that as ammunition against a system.
The speed is negated by the need to catch a secondary route once you get off of Link. Parts of the UW campus are over a mile away from the "subway" entrance/exit. The stop is better suited for the infirmed and elderly to get to UWMC than it is for the actual UW student.
Taking ULink will be under 5 minutes? Impossible. Link takes roughly 2.5 minutes just to go from one stop to the next in the current bus tunnel (including average stopping, offloading, and regaining speed). Given that there will be at least one stop between Westlake and UW (Cap Hill), and the slow turns the "subway" has to make around Convention Place slowing it even further, there's no way it is making it in 5 minutes.
The rest of your post gets confusing. You assume the rider isn't going to want to walk or sit on a bus, yet you're supporting a system where once people get to their "subway" stop they have to walk or get on a bus. You can't have it both ways here. Either walking and bussing are acceptable alternatives or they aren't.
I take the 40 regularly. I'll happily laugh in the face of anyone who says taking the ULink to the 44 will ever be faster. I can jog faster than the 44. Often.
The 71-73 go from 45th to University Street Station in 16 minutes. Even during morning rush hour. Cause a subway is just that much faster. Your words, not mine.
Mea culpa on getting the times you listed confused. I do call BS on the 5 minute timing from Westlake to Cap Hill though. That's just not realistic when you take a stopwatch to the current system.
oh libertine... where to begin? I guess @26. Since there will be no stops in between Westlake and Capitol Hill and there will be fewer buses in the tunnel to slow down the trains, 5 minutes seems more than reasonable to me. As far as Sound Transit ridership estimates, you can continue to criticize estimates from 20 years ago all you want, but they made responsible decisions to switch to the (lower ridership) airport segment first to avoid a Bertha-type situation and had to retool. I really don't know what the future holds, but those 20 year old ridership estimates could potentially be exceeded once the lines that those estimates included are open.
#27, the reduction of bus service in the tunnel is far from a done deal, and the busses are not delaying the light rail (if anything light rail is delaying the busses). You're not going to get from Westlake to Cap Hill in 5 minutes. It just isn't possible.
Your analysis of the projections 20 years ago is also off. The airport segment was supposed to be the highest ridership segment, exceeding the current (admittedly relatively high) ridership seen in Rainier Valley. But when they "switched" the routes, those passengers switched to the 124/A line and the ST line that stops at the airport before moving south to Tacoma.
No, those projections can't be exceeded once their lines are open. The lines are now so poorly constructed they won't see the estimates of 20 years ago 20 years from now.
The RTID makes the WPPSS look like a savings. 6 year olds who have played nothing but Simcity could plan a better system.
@28 RTID? I thought that died in 2007, while the voters approved ST2 in 2008. I think a 6 year old would have a hard time dealing with the Bellevue City Council, Kemper Freeman, glacial soils, etc. And I for one am glad that ST chose a route that collects passengers in Rainier Valley instead of a straight shot through industrial nothing. It sounds to me like you are saying that all the transit riders on the airport line should be coming from places that don't yet have light rail. Telling the future in 1996 is a pretty high bar.

Like I said before, I really recommend that you take a look at Seattle Transit Blog. They have great writers who have written reams and reams of material about the past, current, and future state of transit in seattle.

I cant understand why you have trouble believing the time estimates. Traveling in Seattle generally takes so long that people start to feel that places are farther away than they are. Westlake to Cap Hill is about a mile and a half. To get there in three minutes the train needs to go 30mph. I think you might also be underestimating the time difference. Metro lists the morning 71 to DT as a 20 minute "estimated" time.
#29, the original plan was for there to be essentially no stops between Sodo and Seatac. That's the plan The Stranger itself supported. It didn't take magic prognostication. It was known to everybody back in 1996.

#30 I have taken a look at Seattle Transit Blog. I'm unimpressed. It seems a venue for parroting ST talking points rather than an actual analysis of transit in the region. Yes, they have reams of material, some of which I've seen in person. But they don't actually use the information to come to an informed conclusion. It just sits there like an inanimate object. You can't just "have" the truth. You have to "see" and "use" it as well, or it is sophistry at best.

My estimates are not estimates. They are the time points from the 71-73 (I think I used the 73 schedule and checked times between 7 am and 10 am into the city). They are the actual times the busses get to their locations. You're still inflating your time estimates though. What is the distance from University Street Station to Westlake? That takes 2.5 minutes every day of the week. That's how you determine the speed light rail actually moves at in reality. I've taken Central Link. It doesn't do 30 miles an hour on the sections that are currently built (it takes 38 minutes to go 14.7 miles, for 23.2 mph). Even with the long, fast stretch from Rainier to Tukwila skewing numbers in your favor, you're nowhere near close.

Don't trust Metro times and projections. Get on these lines yourself with a stopwatch. I have and do.

Well, you must be hard to impress, since STB has won national awards for their transit writing, and are in the conversation for best transit blog in the country. You don't have to like that the people there don't seem to support your opinions about ST, but most people there have well reasoned ideas, even if they disagree. Just don't listen to Sam :) In my opinion, ST is one of the most capable and competent capital projects organizations in the state for sure. They have done a great job selecting the right contractors, do lots of public outreach, and are meeting their targets. My only big complaint about them is that up until recently, they seemed too institutionally conservative in their planning. I want more lines yesterday! :)

Im not making up the metro numbers...getting downtown at 9 the 71 takes 19m, the 72 takes 21m, the 73 takes 16. But those are estimates... meaning that metro doesn't want to be on the hook for being late.

Also, i kinda feel like youre just trolling me with the "stopwatch" line. You actually ride transit around timing things; and you think that a subway wont be faster than a bus through some of the heaviest traffic? ok

#32, your times for the 71-73 make no sense. Their route from 65 onwards is identical. They're driving on the same roads at the same time in the same traffic. How are they doing this with such vastly different times?
The times aren't estimates. I keep old schedules (I still have a 194 somewhere) and all they did was take the old mandated times and put little "double cross" marks on them to absolve themselves of being late. Those are the required times, so much so that if a driver finds the time in your printed schedule to vary from his printed schedule, they're required to report it and go by your printed schedule.
I do time things on busses, yes. I've been riding them for over 20 years in this city. I've taken Light Rail, the 174, and the 194. I know for a fact that Link is slower. Sure, there was the day the 174 ran 43 minutes late. The same thing happens when Link hits a car/person/bike. It averages out.
I'll grant you that the Cap Hill to Westlake stretch will run faster than the surface bus by a handy margin, just as the busses in the tunnel go faster through downtown than the surface busses. But 5 minutes? Bovine excrement. Faster to the UW? Only by a handful of minutes at best, and for most riders the bus will be faster because it stops where they want to stop, while the ULink is off in the boonies.
A well built light rail or subway system will beat a surface bus any day of the week. We've got a rackety jumble of bad ideas, slush funds, and mismanagement masquerading as a poorly built light rail system. That's why the busses can and do move faster than light rail, even in the heaviest of traffic. Link really is that bad.
Again, I love the idea of light rail. We need light rail. We deserve light rail (I do not use the term deserve lightly). What we have is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Murderous dictators deserve a better light rail system than we have. Any sentient being on the planet deserves better transit planning than we have.

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