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anecdotally, I saw a homeless guy run across the express lanes during rush hour last night. I was going 70. ain't no speed limit going to fix stupid.
"Too many people who are African American and work in our hospitals spend hours in their cars coming from south county," Murray said. "Too many people I meet who work in our hotels who are East African immigrants spend too much time riding the bus—hours and hours—to get their kids into daycare and then get to their jobs. If we want to create that racially equitable Seattle, then we need to pass Sound Transit 3."
Name dropping bullshit.
Let me know when they've got the trains running more quickly than cars coming up from Federal Way and then we can talk about the other 90% of their population.
Yep. Almost 10% black there.
FUCKING HARDCORE, BRAH.
I know this should be obvious to them, but it is not.
If you lower the speed limits traffic will become worse.
OMG WE NEED TO FUND COMMISSIONS TO STUDY THIS HOW COULD IT BE.
The gridlock in our city is already at the breaking point. How will it be possible to manage this mess for another 22 years until the line to Ballard is opened? It's only going to get worse every year until then. Can't we do better? And more importantly, can we afford not to? How is the city going to handle how many tens of thousands of more cars on the road until then?
My biggest fear is that if this package passes we would be locked into that extremely long timeline to get fast mass transit in Seattle. I just don't think the plan is adequate to what this city needs.
Yes, from England, because they're ahead of us on this. Physics are the same everywhere.
Oh, and 70mph in the express lane is illegal. Slow down.
The first step is getting this passed. Then, we can start lobbying to try and speed up construction.
@2: Federal Way may be 10% African American right now, but at the rate this inversion process is going at (i.e., affluent whites moving back into the city), most of the low-income POC will probably get pushed down into the south suburbs over the next 20 years.
That being said, it doesn't really matter who lives where. Everybody would benefit from having better rail options in this region.
These rail options won't be faster than driving under ideal conditions, but at least they'll be reliably the same speed most of the time. That's helpful.
If you're so concerned about a future legacy then perhaps you should hold out for a better plan too.
Well, if the objection is keeping us screwed, and screwed indefinitely, I'd be making these arguments too.
Me? As someone who appreciates just how horrible the traffic congestion is around here and wants to do something about it, I actually want a reliable, fast alternative, and if it takes 22 years to get that, I'll wait. And I'll accept the shorter-term solutions that are part of ST3. And if those shorter-term solutions aren't enough?
Well, let's face it, if we're talking about some real and serious shorter-term solutions to our traffic congestion, like BRT with real dedicated right-of-way, all you helplessness advocates would be opposing that too. So I guess I sense a bit of concern trolling.
And let's pretend we're all sincerely concerned about transportation and stop and think a bit about this long-term vs. short-term paradox. Just because my physician says I eventually have to get an operation for a condition doesn't mean I shouldn't be treating that condition in the meantime.
Please, you know as well as all the rest of us that there is no better plan; there's only a faster plan; there are things we can do around the edges to make the ST3 infrastructure projects go faster, but great projects like downtown-to-Ballard with a second transit tunnel take as long as they're gonna take. But rejecting ST3? That's only going to lead to worse plans and making everything go slower.
Listen, I know all you light rail foes around here can't just come out and say you're against light rail, but if you're going to come up with these "hold out for better" mind-games, we're going to have to call you out on it. Nobody who's sincerely interested in adding more subway-like, in-city mass transit, and who has the least bit of sense, is thinking right now, "Hey, let's kill ST3 so we can get something better sooner."
And you know what, back when we were debating the monorail, people were complaining it would be too expensive and take too long.
I can just imagine, if we don't pass ST3, 16 years from now when our next round of half-measures have been exhausted and that better, faster plan comes around to the ballot box, the next Senor Guy is going to be saying, "Hey, we should've just passed that ST3 Ballard line when we had a chance."
I did not say we should do nothing because we're screwed either way. I said we should do something that is effective. Since that renders the rest of your argument moot and you just railed on and on against the argument you wanted to rail against, and not the one I actually made, I am still inclined to think that we can can do better here.
I really wonder when liberal doo-gooders lost their ability to persuade. No all they seem to capable of is being cranky dicks who can only be effective when they are preaching to their own choir. Perhaps if you types work on your social skills you would find more people coming around to your point of view. Instead you just want to make ridiculous arguments about "concern trolling" and "magically creating a shorter timeline".
OK, unless we're all in Trumpland where random word salads amount to real plans, then maybe you can explain to us benighted transit neophytes what that "something that is effective" is. I'm all ears if we've got a brilliant transportation mind in our midst.
Hey, maybe Gregoire's transportation think tank solutions of self driving cars and smart corridors will save us from gridlock:/
"I know all you light rail foes around here can't just come out and say you're against light rail, but if you're going to come up with these "hold out for better" mind-games"
You sound like an ignorant crank. Clearly you don't have a handle on what all people who want a subway-style system think, or you would see people disagree on what is possible.
As for self-driving cars on "smart corridors", I'm skeptical of the technology and guess I'll believe in self-driving cars when I see them in commercial use. And I don't even know what a "smart corridor" is supposed to be, so I"ll have to demure on that one.
Traffic will slow no matter what you do, but transit will help more than old people with car subsidized lifestyles whining will.
Change is happening no matter what the naysayers tell you, and freeways are last century
Again, I'm waiting for your "something that is effective" alternative to ST3's downtown-to-Ballard right rail. Being a light rail foe is nothing to be ashamed of, if that's where you're coming from. You can just come out and admit it.
Who said anything about "obliterating cars"? The only people I hear screaming about that possibility are those Chicken Littles opposed to Mass Transit who seem to think we're in some sort of zero-sum game where we can ONLY fund roads for cars OR infrastructure for MT, but not both (and who conveniently ignore the very obvious fact that non-rail MT is equally dependent on that same road system). There are a lot of people who prefer the efficiency-of-scale provided by MT over SOV's, but no one, aside from a relative handful of ant-car zealots, seriously believes they're just going to disappear anytime soon.
I'm not arguing with you --I'm voting ST3 most definitely-- I'm just pointing out that Senor Guy @8's comment could very well have been taken to mean the original monorail, 40 years ago, not the '00's lukewarm efforts to reassert the monorail possibility.
Seattle missed the ahem train 40 years ago. And we're paying for it now. Retrofitting a major city for light rail suuucks, and is expensive. But let's learn from and not repeat the errors of the past. Build light rail we must. And now.
So, in your mind a working regional Mass Transit system = "punch in the teeth"? And you call US "cynical"?
I hate to say it, but your ongoing lack of specifics and hair-trigger defensiveness make it seem like you're just going off a "feeling" you have about it, and not actually thinking it through in the slightest.
"the sad reality is that ST 3 isn't really about making things better"
So yes, I am left thinking a plan that delivers something that doesn't really make things better a long way in the future is basically a kick in the teeth.
@9: sure thing, mom. can you tell everyone around me to slow down, too? they're all passing me when I only go 70.
How about this? When you wrote "something that is effective," surely you were visualizing something in your mind. Don't be afraid to share. I'm sure it's something more than Donald Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS that he can't reveal because then it won't be a secret.
Otherwise, you've just abandoned the whole premise of your point. Just imagine someone sitting here and reading this thread and going: Well, this m. sam guy sounded like he was going to offer some better alternative to convince us to vote no, but all we got instead was a bunch of name-calling.
If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you follow them? You DO know the "but everyone else is doing it too!" defense won't cut you any slack if a trooper pulls you over for exceeding the posted speed limit, yes? Because, personal responsibility for your own actions, right?
Forcing people to leave the city, for those who want to stay, take apartments away from landlords, and fill them with vagrants.
As for evidence, not sure what you are looking for from me. This is my opinion and it seems reasonable and valid.
Now listen closely, schmacky, because you don't seem to understand why I've posted here. I didn't post here to change anybody else's mind, by bringing evidence and alternate plans, etc. I posted here because I'm on the fence about ST3 and want somebody to change ** my ** mind.
And yes, I did get defensive because instead of anyone attempting to change my mind (well, with one exception) I just got piled on with a heap of mischaracterizations and hilariously paranoid denunciations. SO why wouldn't I get defensive after so much smack talk?
So is there a reason why I should vote for ST3, other than because not doing so "won't magically make a shorter time line (#10)", because I'm secretly anti-light rail (multiple posts), or haven't "thought it through in the slightest (your post)"? Because if supporting ST3 is the only rational choice, you lot are really not making the case.
No, something tells me it could happen quicker.
If you are not interested in making a rational case for ST3, fine. I'm sure your vehement denunciations of anti-light rail Trump fanatics will do some "good" somewhere, but it just isn't doing it for me. At least it isn't swaying my opinion into the pro-ST3 camp.
Well, first off, it is happening quicker. You threw out the timeline of 22 years for downtown-to-Ballard. That was with the original ST3 draft plan. They were able to get it down to 19 years. See the ST3 Plan Project Phasing.
You want it to go even faster? I believe Seattle Transit Blog had a post a month or so ago about how the plan could be accelerated further, and a lot of it involved getting streamlining legislation from the City of Seattle.
That seemed like a pretty good idea to me, there was supposed to be some negotiation in July but it never came up again. If that happened and it knocked the project into a more reasonable timeframe I'd be happy to pour my taxes into it.
As it stands, it's a lot to ask, and I wonder how many in the region are willing to make such a long term investment that may not pay off for them (is there even any recent polling on it?).
You DO know what Google is, right? Yes, there's been recent polling, as well as public comment, open meetings - the works. Sound Transit has been about as transparent with this as they can be, and every metric they've seen points to strong support for ST3. Sure, people want it sooner rather than later, but this is a massive infrastructure project encompassing multiple municipalities, at tremendous expense. You can't just pull $54,000,000,000 out of a hat - or bank vault, or voters' pockets - all at once, and even if you could, you can't actually build-out everything being proposed in one fell-swoop. People have to be patient (admittedly not a characteristic intrinsic to many in this country), and kicking the can down the road, as @43 notes, is no longer an option. We can't afford to wait for a more perfect plan, because by the time someone creates it, it'll already be far too late to implement - unless we want to add another few sets of zeroes to that dollar figure.
I don't buy your logic, "don't think, we must act now!" Because it is so much money and takes so much time. I would certainly be happier waiting a couple of years for something better.
If Paris can build 125 miles in their suburbs in 19 years for $20.5 billion (planned opening in 2030), why can't we get our build out sooner? That's not even mentioning the price tag, more than double, ouch.
Now that's an extraordinary claim lacking any evidence. Therefore, total bullshit.
“Road diets” and narrowing down major streets from four lanes into two, one in each direction, is already slowing many of us dramatically while public transportation stays the same.
I should also point that most of those changes mentioned above were first tried on central district and south end residents. Usually not a conspiracy theorist, but I wonder why city officials chose to illustrate the transportation challenges people of color from those neighborhoods are facing nowadays.
Enough with this patronizing crap!!! Take your road diets to Wedgewood, your bike lanes to Crown Hill, and shove your Seafair in Magnuson Park
FFS, you'd think no one on Slog knows the ROT for driving on the highway. 70 in the I-5 Express Lanes (speed limit 60) during evening Rush Hour is SLOW. I get passed by BUSES.
@53: thanks, that's about what I figured. I'm fine with lowering the speed on arterials, I just wanted some facts. sober drivers are being slowed down to save pedestrians from drunks and themselves.
So, Wedgwood did get put on a road diet. Happier?
So, at a theoretical 8am traffic starts really picking up. Due to the new constraints on the speed limit, put into place because apparently someone decided we should be like England, all of those cars are on the road for a longer period of time.
People keep making their way onto the streets at an ever-increasing rate, though.
That means not only more cars on the road, it means more cars on the road for longer periods of time.
In the link you provided it looks like Cottingham got it backward - he says that fast drivers will cause slow drivers to panic brake.
The argument would be the inverse.
Of course, this appears to all rest on the assumption that people are transporting themselves in vehicles that cannot travel at the speed limit while others pretend they're on the autobahn.
And by "nothing recent", you mean what - last week? Maybe no "recent" polling has been done because the ST board has already taken into account polling done up through last spring in anticipation of putting the proposal on the November ballot.
And there's been PLENTY of thinking - years and years of it - to come up with that plan. This isn't something dashed off on a napkin over lunch Martini's: the current ST3 proposal has been three years in the making, building off the ST2 implementation in 2008, and the original Sound Move package approved by voters in 1996; hell the Seattle Transit Tunnel project, which included a light rail component, was vetted by Metro and the City Council back in 1983. Building out to Everett, the Eastside and the Southend has always been a long-term goal, but required creation of the initial "spine" to get things started; the rest has been done in stages, as each previous component was completed, as a means of spreading out the cost over time.
Time, see, that's a funny thing about money: it has value over time, that's why waiting another couple of years will have a major impact on the overall price-tag of the project, because the time-value of money changes; what costs $52B today might cost $54B or $55B in two years due to inflation, increases in the costs of raw materials, labor, and other cost-drivers, which in turn makes selling the project increasingly more difficult the longer a decision is delayed.
And there are many reasons why the Metro can be extended cheaper and sooner, not the least of which being the very obvious fact that the City of Lights and its suburbs are not hemmed in on three sides by bodies of water, which severely limits where a MT can go. And from the information I've been able to find, that $20.5B price-tag has already ballooned to about $36B, and is expected to continue to increase as cost overruns and other factors push the estimated finished construction costs even higher.
This more recent article tags the total cost of the Grand Paris Express at around $46.4B US, with a now-anticipated completion date of 2030 - not quite so fast OR cheap.
If anything, it's not a "war ON cars", it's a war OF cars - hundreds of thousands of them clogging our freeways and arterials to the point where many people now spend a significant portion of their day just getting between their homes and jobs, which has the effect of both decreasing economic productivity as well as cutting into severely limited leisure time, not to mention spewing tens of millions of tons of hydrocarbons into our already deteriorating atmosphere, and pushing global temperatures to their highest levels since such records have been kept. The truth is you-all are making war on yourselves.
The real question you should be asking is: how many of those 60% of drivers are stuck in gridlock every day breathing in noxious air-born chemicals and silently raging at the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic because they have no alternative? The entire point of creating a regional MT system is to GIVE them that alternative, so that a lot of them wouldn't NEED to commute in SOV's or carpools, which in turn would reduce congestion on the roads and thus make it easier for people who still don't have an alternative to get around. Because here's the thing: without MT it's only going to get worse. Tens of thousands of people are pouring into this area, which means just that many MORE vehicles on the roads. You think things are bad NOW, give it another five years and then come back and tell us how much better things were in the halcyon days of 2016, when it only took you an hour to drive from Everett to Seattle during your commute instead of two hours.
Furthermore, it's a slippery slope. It's not chicken little to see the reality of where a particular path leads. Look before you leap, that is what I would recommend.
btw, the headline of the article referenced the war on cars. I was reacting to the biased premise this article introduced.
In summary, yes, we need mass transit. Much much much more mass transit. But we also need to maintain our streets that are now war zone pot-holed and we need to stop throwing money after an infrastructure for bicycles because bicycles are NOT the solution. A viable and reliable Mass Transit that serves the local community (not just the region) is.
You are more than welcome to witness road diet causing huge traffic delays any time of the day, heading north or south, on Rainier Ave between Alaska and Orcas.
Added-value fun for heading south in evening rush hour, which starts as early as 3 pm due to the wonderful diet.
My commute runs parallel to sharrows and designated bike lanes for about 70% of its length and the number of cyclists is substantial - and for the most part they stay in their proper lanes (there are always one or two exceptions, but Darwin will sort them out soon enough). Much of the "deterioration" (and by this I presume you mean diminishment) I see is due far more to transition to creating dedicated bus lanes, which does have the effect of cutting down the number of vehicle lanes.
And you can blame those "war zone pot-holes" as much on the massive increase in heavy construction equipment traffic as anything else. Plus, buses and bikes use the same streets as cars in large part, so it's not like one is being completely sacrificed in favor of the other, because they ALL rely on the same infrastructure.
As for bicycles not being the solution: the way things are going, for many people in-town bikes may be the ONLY solution, and for quite a few people, they clearly are already. Just because YOU don't think so, doesn't make it so.
But in any event it's a trade-off. There's only so much grade available, and dedicated bus and bike lanes mean all those people aren't stuck in traffic with the preponderance of SOV's, making things worse for YOU, and which in turn makes them all that much more attractive as a commuting option for others.
If you put a horse and carriage on the freeway it will cause traffic jams.
The fix? Lower the speed limit to a trot or a canter or wtf ever.
That way there won't be any traffic jams because, in a relative way of speaking, there is no difference between the congestion on the freeway and the congestion everywhere else.
Nope. They're not moving.
What I'm really getting at is that you really fucking suck and no matter what you do your end goal, your loftiest and most noble of ideals, is abject failure.
That's an argument? For one thing, I'm pretty sure horse-drawn conveyances aren't allowed on freeways - for the very reason you cite. Or is this just another one of those "let's dream up a ridiculous hypothetical situation to prove a point that can't be proven any other way" things?
Aside from the blind idealism of crippling a city to save ten lives, that's the science behind lowering speed limits.
Please do explain how else you can concoct such a disparity between the fastest and slowest vehicles on a thoroughfare.
Oh that's right, you can't.
So, in your opinion the loss of ten lives is acceptable if it means you can get to your destination a couple minutes more quickly? Okay, duly noted.
Don't ever rail against economic downturn ever again.
Okay, so none of this actually impacts you in any way, but you still can't resist the compulsion to whinge about it regardless. Figures.
Thank you for your eloquent and cogent contribution to the discussion. I'm sure everyone is simply overwhelmed by the forcefulness of your argument - and those citations, well, who could question such erudite and through research. Your high school debate coach is no doubt beaming with justifiable pride in your accomplishments.
Carry on, sir - to you we say, SAH-LUTE!
That is why guys like me bother him. I voted for ST1 and ST2 and would vote for them again. That is because, for all the obvious flaws (who the fuck only puts one station between Westlake and the UW?) those were sensible projects. ST3 is not. It is stupid.
What would be better? This. If you want to read a more detailed analysis of why it is better, then I suggest reading this. Be warned: this is not oversimplified "all rail is good" or "all rail is bad" BS like you usually see. This is a long, detailed look at what makes sense for the region. It contains hyperlinks that go into a lot of detail, because (believe it or not) building a mass transit system is complicated. You can't expect to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a plan in only a few sentences. That is because rail doesn't always work. The country is full of light rail systems that spread for miles and rarely pick anyone up. There are also plenty of relatively small systems that completely transform a region (Vancouver BC has one). Simply put, it matters where you put the subway.
Unfortunately, with ST3, we are adopting the worst habits of every failed system out there. We have failed to plan effectively, and it started with the very criteria that they used to judge the projects. With successful systems, an agency consults with transportation experts and asks them to come up with ideas that provide the most benefit for the money spent. There are a number of ways this can be determined, but time saved per trip multiplied by number of trips divided by dollar spent is a perfectly reasonable one. It tends to favor suburban areas, but in this case, would provide for a very good starting point.
But Sound Transit never measured that. In fact, they never got that far. One of their key priorities was simply building the "spine". Got that? Their priority was an arbitrary route. They never considered whether building the spine was cost effective or not. They simply made it a priority without bothering to ask whether it made sense to build it. Then they measured each project as to whether it helped achieve that goal.
What was true of the "spine" was true of every route. They never compared the cost effectiveness of West Seattle rail versus Central Area rail, because rail to the Central Area was never considered. West Seattle rail was never compared with a bus tunnel, because a bus tunnel was never considered. They did study light rail from Ballard to the UW, but even though it carried more people per dollar spent (and obviously provided a much faster connection for those who rode it) they simply picked different projects. Just because.
So now they propose things like light rail to Fife (Yippee, only 45 minutes to Fife) as well as Issaquah to Bellevue light rail (fantastic, now someone can get from Issaquah to downtown Seattle after two transfers!). They simply came up with arbitrary rail based plans, instead of doing the hard work of actually measuring what works and what doesn't.
The solution is to vote this down and start over. Demand accountability. Ask that an independent agency start from scratch and come up with proposals. They will look at the census maps, employment maps and traffic maps, and come with an integrated mass transit system. It will involve making step by step improvements. It won't be cheap, but it will be better. It will result in getting better projects built sooner, even if it means we end up with fewer miles of track.