Now Is the Time to Start Fighting for Better Light Rail in Seattle

Who to Call and E-mail to Get the Mass-Transit Route You Want


So only people with a W in their address would use light rail?
@1 except for all the people with S, E, and NE with rail now and in the next month.

This expands it to the NW and SW.
For West Seattle, the Delridge route (the longer one on the right side of the map) is the worst choice.

1. At grade/street level. It would be like MLK/Rainier instead of elevated or a tunnel.

2. While Delridge is the poorest/of color part of West Seattle it's also amongst the least dense.

3. I've already heard and seen tons of opposition (rekatively) to a MLK/Rainier style rail solution there.

4. Density is by far growing strongest in the Junction/Triangle/Avalon corridor here. Going down Delridge costs them rail for probably another 10-20 years. That is dumb. In 10 years that corridor will be like Ballard today or more.
Transit is supposed to go where the people are, not where the traffic is.
That said, delridge is an important place. I think there is a good compromise in sending the line to the junction, and have a stop at delridge to for a fast bus/rail transfer
This article is only talking about the West Seattle to Ballard line. But you're right, we need to commit to building much more than that. I'd really encourage you to check out Seattle Subway's "STComplete" plan. Its has a shot of being adopted, and would be a huge leap forward
now that I've got mine I don't care if there's any more lines added.

just kidding!
Heidi, thanks for the action alert.

I get the impression there's some real political momentum to "go big" with Sound Transit 3. Plus, within the context of going big, there's a lot of enthusiasm among the Sound Transit technical staff for the second north-south transit tunnel Heidi describes, especially when it comes to introducing the split spine where the new so-called "green line" would go from Ballard to SeaTac and points south, eventually to Tacoma.

It's only fitting that they should label this the "green line" considering that the Ballard portion represents part of the corridor that would have been covered with the failed monorail project's Green Line. Add in the other downtown tunnel's extending out to West Seattle and this more than makes up for the Green Line's demise. Light rail tunneled underground will end up costing more than monorail would have, but you're getting way more capacity.

So the message I'll be conveying to the parties on Heidi's list is to go big in precisely the way you've been contemplating.
Oh, and the people who'll be pissed off by the "go big" price tag are going to be just as pissed off by the price tag of a small-ball package.

I take that back. They'll be that much more pissed off by the "go big" price tag, not so much though by the bigger price tag itself but because they know how effective that second north-south corridor will be in terms of transporting people and transforming our region and in absolving commuters of their God-given American duty to stew in traffic.
Question: What is the sound of light rail expansion plans devised by those whose heads are up their own and/or each others' asses? Answer: Explosively undulating shit.
If they can keep the trip from White Center to Downtown under 45 minutes I don't care what road it goes down.
If you read the numbers on the STB blog the ridership on LINK is stagnant and for some months declining.

We may have reached Peak Transit in Seattle where more millions of infrastructure may bring little or no results.

The good news is that Goober is happening. Google is going to introduce automated taxis next year as its own business. This will let us serve lower density areas, and last mile to station problems.

Rather than wasting money chasing a future that isn't in the cards, let's prepare for one that is.
@12 says,

If you read the numbers on the STB blog the ridership on LINK is stagnant and for some months declining.


From STB themselves: October 2015 Sound Transit Ridership Rep…

October saw the largest gain in Link ridership in a year. In fact it was the bookend to what at first blush looks like a ‘bad’ year for Link. For the first time since the line opened in 2009 Link was held to single digit ridership growth for a 12 month period. From October 2014 to September 2015 Link averaged only 6.4% year over year growth.

However that number is a bit deceiving. It is important to note that the year of Oct. 13 to Sep. 14 was Link’s best 12 months on record. Ridership grew 15.9% in that time period. A significant part of the higher than normal (normal for Link being 10-11%) bump was special event ridership. The year from Oct. 13 to Sep. 14 had three Seahawks weekday home games, a Super Bowl Parade and the first Mariners season since 07 worth talking about. Special event ridership is nothing to scoff at. Seattle’s worst traffic days are generally tied into afternoon events (and god forbid a fish truck turn over during one of them). Not only does Link take tens of thousands of cars off the road during the regular commute, but it takes the most cars off the roads on the worst traffic days.

Long story short, Link only had a no good very bad 12 months because the year before it had extremely higher than normal growth. Were the numbers to be revised down to average only 10.3% (the average for the prior year, Oct. 12 to Sep. 13), the 12 months ending Sep. 15 would have seen 10.1% growth. So calm down, ridership is still strongly heading in the right direction.

As usual, your nonsense Pax Kenta reading is meant to push your own conservative ideology.
Multiple tunnels in a liquefaction zone. A new "downtown" tunnel that starts north of Denny. Connecting Ballard to Tacoma before connecting Everett to Tacoma directly.

The transit ideas coming out of this city were stupid and backwards before. Now I feel like I'm being Punk'd. This has to be a practical joke. Nobody can seriously believe these new plans are effective at moving people via mass transit. The mere thought is literally inconceivable.

We need mass transit in this region, desperately. We don't need this bizarre off color joke of a proposition. This would make regional transportation worse, not better.
@14: it's easy to analyze, it's hard to synthesize. maybe you should go get a job at ST and show them how it's done, dori monson jr.

Not all of Downtown Seattle is a liquefaction zone.
It makes sense to have the tunnel extend north of Denny. Why would it not?

You should try harder at conceiving ideas. A West Seattle to Ballard line would definitely help people get around this city.
@14 So much whining and no substance. If what is on the table will make things worse, then why, and what is your plan?
This is a ridiculous article with comments that are just about as ridiculous. There are several stupid assumptions made:

1) If a light rail line serves someplace close to you, then it of course is great for you.
2) West Seattle light rail makes sense because traffic is bad (or something).
3) The only way to deal with bad traffic is to build light rail.
4) Light rail to areas of low density is great.

Just to be clear, Joe (#2) the rail being built will not serve those with an "East" address very well (the Central Area/Capitol Hill region). The buses won't interact well with it, because there is only one station. In contrast, Forward Thrust had four. Ridership on the new Madison BRT will probably exceed ridership for all the stations between the UW and downtown. That isn't that hard because there is only one. One station in the most contiguously high density in the state. Ooops.

Meanwhile, West Seattle is uniquely unsuitable for light rail. It is extremely expensive. There is a huge gap without a station (making operations expensive, which will lead to very low frequency). Population density is very low and can't be well served by one line. Trying to funnel people into that one line won't work because of the geography (why would someone want to take a bus on Delridge all the way up the hill, wait ten minutes for a train when they can just go straight downtown on the freeway). Finally, there is an obvious alternative (BRT on the freeway followed by a bus tunnel). Yes, it would cost money to fix the freeway and build a tunnel, but way less than light rail (and it would serve way more people).

What is true of West Seattle is true of Ballard. The best thing for Ballard would be a subway line from Ballard to the UW. That would kill two birds with one stone. There would be a very small time penalty for those headed downtown (2 minutes) but you get a much better network. That line would interact very well with the buses that go north-south.

That is the type of system that Vancouver B. C. has made. Not miles of light rail to every suburb, but a relatively small amount covering the high density areas while making sure that they interact extremely well with the buses. It works. Vancouver has transit ridership three times the ridership per capita that we have, and is third in U. S. and Canada (behind New York and Toronto). We are building crap. It is geared for the suburbs, but is, and will be, horribly unsuccessful (like BART).
@16, while I think the joke is cute, politically I am to the left of Sanders.

@17, most of Puget Sound is a liquefaction zone. The fill and till makes Downtown Seattle the worst, but looking at the geological data you can see the stripes of silt running all along the coast. As a result, tunnels don't make any sense, at all, period.

I fail to see how a Ballard to West Seattle line would have any significant impact on traffic. How many people are honestly commuting from Leary to Alki? Even then, I'm not opposed to such a route in its due time. That time would be well after Link extended to Olympia, however. This Seattle centrism in regards to Link is downright juvenile.

@18, whining crack aside, I thank you for trying to stick to substance. Sadly a clear answer would be difficult to give. So much of the current Link system is so poorly designed it would be difficult to work with the dysfunction we have now.
One glaring stupidity of many ST3 propositions is evident on the East side. Running Link from I-90 through Bellevue, up to Totem Lake, then back down to Issaquah. That's a good 20 miles out of the way, who knows how long, and at an increased cost of millions just in extra track alone.
Another beautiful example of this horror is the discussion of a Balkard to UW line. This line would never make any sense, even 50 years from now. The border between these two communities is right around 2 miles. You might be able to stretch that to 4, since the proposals seem to go from Market to Hec Ed. In all seriousness however there will simply never be a need for a single 4 mile stretch like this.
ST has clearly forgotten the R in RTID.
To answer the question "What would you build?", I say this:…

More people save more time. After that, build a "Metro 8 subway" connecting Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill Station, First Hill, (roughly) 23rd and Jackson, the Judkins Park station (which is coming with East Link) and the Mount Baker station.

That would probably be enough, and it would be plenty. We would still have probably spent more per capita then any other city in North America on transit, but at least we would get something out of it. With relatively cheap bus improvements (some of which are being done right now by SDOT) we would be able to get anywhere from anywhere. This is something that Sound Transit doesn't seem to be concerned with -- they are simply trying to add miles and miles of rail.
@20/Libertine - West Seattle (92,488) has nearly twice the population of Olympia (48,338). And I'm sure if you looked at the proportion of population that commutes downtown Seattle for work from each area, I bet WS has 10 times the ridership. I don't even think the most Pollyanna of transit nerds has advocated for light rail to Olympia. I'm not sure how you can rant about cost-effectiveness and advocate for that.

That said, I think there's some valid questions as to whether West Seattle is at the top of the priority list because it would be the most effective location for light rail or because Dow Constantine lives there. West Seattle has balked and dragged its feet at just about every effort to add the kind of density that makes light rail make sense.
@22, apparently your memory serves you poorly. Sound Move was sold as light rail from Seattle to Federal Way as part of a multi-pronged effort to push light rail from Everett to Olympia. You see, the purpose of mass transit is to get passenger/car miles off the roads. You do that by connecting your region's urban cores first. RTID was created with this intent in mind.
I don't care who commutes from Olympia to Seattle. I don't support Seattle centric transit. I feel that the removal of sub area equity has destroyed transit in this region.
I want to get cars and people off the roads. I want to reduce car emissions. You do that by connecting Everett to Olympia first. Everything else just puts the cart before the horse.
@20 Nobody is commuting between Alki and Leary, where'd you get that? It is ballard to downtown, west seattle to downtown.
@23, Olympia isn't in the sound transit taxing district, so there was no push to get rail to there.
@24, if that were so, then why link the route? Why make a Ballard to West Seattle line when you want a West Seattle to downtown and a Ballard to downtown line? We're back to carts and horses again.

@25, there was a plan to add Thurston County to the RTID. The people of the county told their legislators no, based mostly on the fear that their tax dollars would be funneled north. Considering that we're talking about adding two entire lines within Seattle before connecting Tacoma to 512 of Federal Way to anything makes them look precognitive in that respect.
Or Federal Way to anything, Sorry for the typo. It is hard to type on a phone while (ironically enough) on Link.
libertine @14: Multiple tunnels in a liquefaction zone.

libertine @23: I want to get cars and people off the roads. I want to reduce car emissions. You do that by connecting Everett to Olympia first.

You tell 'em, libertine. Listen, while you're at it, you ought to get a hold of Fed chair Janet Yellen ASAP and tell her that, instead of raising interest rates like she just did, we need to go back to the gold standard. I'm sure she'll appreciate your expertise.
@28, as humorous as your comeback is, it shows your lack of substance. Everything I have mentioned has been in regards to Sound Transit and the RTID. I'm not bringing up ancient history here. Many of my points have been made in the past by Stranger staff.

The issues I bring up were once well known and frequently discussed. Local Politics 101 may seem antedeluvian to you, but in terms of transportation infrastructure it is the first thing one needs to address. We knew better than this less than 10 years ago, as a community, as a culture, and as a local society. I am confused as to what has happened so recently that has caused us to forget the past within our lifetime.
Your comment about everything being in a liquefaction zone is incorrect. You claim that the presence of fill and till cause liquefaction, which is not true. Fill can experience liquefaction pretty easily given the right conditions. Till is the next best thing to rock, and is unlikely to see liquefaction.

Setting up one line WS->DT and one line Ballard->DT and not having them connect to anything doubles your maintenance costs. That's like having one car to drive to work in, and one to drive to the store in.

The purpose of transit is to enable people to get where they are going quickly and reliably. Any reduction in traffic is incidental to that goal.

PS. Use words that people know. Antedeluvian means "before the great flood". I really don't know what that's supposed to mean in your sentence.

Go check out sound transit, or STB, or Seattle Subway's page. They will give you the big picture of this. This is not the only line in ST3, and hopefully there will be a lot. This article is only really talking about the most prominent line in seattle, and the options for it.
Sub area equity is the reason Seattle has so much money to build lines in Seattle. Money from other places is not being used in Seattle. Tacoma pays for Tacoma, Seattle pays for Seattle. No projects can happen in either without something happening in both.
@30, glacial till is little more than silt and boulders, with a few gravel deposits. The inability of silt to retain stability when saturated in an earthquake is what causes liquefaction. Most of the fill under downtown Seattle is poorly packed silty soil, which is why it is worse. Silty till is the single worst kind of soil possible for liquefaction. If you want rock like soil, you want clay.
How does splitting the Ballard/West Seattle line increase maintenance costs if they both end downtown? The route itself changes little. The change in ideology and timing are what are more important.
If you can't figure out why the term antedeluvian has to do with a post bringing up the gold standard, I'm not sure we are a good conversational match. Heck, just claiming most people don't know the word makes me wonder.

Antedeluvian is definitely an obscure word. I just dislike it when people use obscure words that are not at all in common usage when they are criticizing someone's positions. It leads me to believe that they hope to appear more intelligent, and to sway an audience unwilling to ask what it means and appear foolish. This can make the criticism unanswerable. Just a pet peeve of mine.

Splitting the lines means more property acquisition, and more maintenance, because you would need separate OM. Even if you did interline and just have turnbacks, you would still be losing service hours as the conductors switched and security did a sweep. And all for ??? I have no idea what you would gain out of it. Worse frequency in Ballard and West Seattle? Is that a win?

Liquefaction is not confined to slits. Any granular soil can experience liquefaction, but the drivers are 1) saturation 2) compaction 3) grain size 4) being well sorted/poorly graded. Over-consolidated glacial till can experience liquefaction, but it is extremely well compacted, is usually not very porous, and is poorly sorted/well graded. It is definitely not an ideal candidate for liquefaction. The ideal candidate is what you see in liquifaction all the time... mud and silty goop at the bottom of puddles.

You have set out two goals for ST. Take cars off the road/reduce emissions and fulfill an old political bargain. Those two goals are opposed to each other, as fulfilling the bargain reduces emissions less than just building in the core. I think you need to pick which is more important to you.

@31, I have seen Seattle Subway's page. It is much worse, with the same eastside mistakes, tunnels of death, and luxury lines. It has nothing to do mass transit.

The Seattle section of Link is far from the worst part. Link has disrupted transit in Seatac to the point that the locals are practically boycotting it and taking the 594. Seattle Subway's plan only doubles down on these mistakes. Too many stops in too many suburbs or urban villages make these lines untenable. Nobody will take light rail that is slower and more expensive than a bus (which at present Link currently is) unless their other options are removed (as Metro did when removing the 194, artificially boosting Link ridership numbers as a result).

Seattle Subway's ideas merely parrot the problems created by the RTID's bad choices and then magnify them.

@32, the removal of sub area equity is why Seattle has so much money to run busses in Seattle (the ballot measure last year excepted). Prior to that, all funding was divided between several regions from a single pool of total tax base. Admittedly, this meant that Seattle money was going to fund suburban transit. Now the balance has overshifted in the opposite direction. At least in terms of mass transit, places like the Snoqualmie Valley pay much more than they get. In fact, total bus hours in that area are a third of what they were 5 years ago, with two routes removed and one adjusted to serve gentrification as opposed to the community (209/215, and 208).

The sub area equity you are referring to is the ST definition, literally cooked up in 2014 by Geoff Patrick, an entirely new definition for the term, and one that still funnels money into Seattle from the suburbs. You see, the Sound Transit board believes they literally have the ability to define "subarea equity" in any way, shape, or form they desire. The ST definition is so variable and unique it could literally refer to anything, including it raining peanut butter.

From Mr. Patrick himself:

"State law on this topic is mainly about reporting. As long as a ballot measure identifies where the funds originate and are spent, Board members can define equity in whatever fashion they believe serves constituents. Note that the past ballot measures have included investments outside subarea boundaries spanning all three of our transit modes, and particularly Sounder and ST Express. The decisions weren’t about where the service is located but about desired destinations and what the Board understood the priority for each subarea to be. It is only after a measure passes that its provisions become legally binding, and a future ballot measure doesn’t have to use the same approaches as past measures."
@34, you don't need separate OM. You centralize operations downtown, preferably at Convention Place Station (Oops, the corporatists want that land, so screw transit!) or down by Sodo Station. Two lines can operate out of the same base just fine. Besides, nobody complained about separate OM when ST was born.

Running lines out from a centralized hub has numerous advantages. All lines are on the same page, as they are all taking instructions from the same control room. Maintenance costs are lowered, as all trains would be interchangeable on all routes. Sick drivers would have a larger substitute pool. I'm not sure I can list all the advantages running lines from a centralized hub produces. They are legion. NYC uses them. London uses them. Urbanists should be all for them.

Silt is rarely well compacted. It doesn't compact well at all. That's why it is prone to liquefaction. The other is its tendency to be made of materials that do not absorb water, unlike clay. In silty soil, the spaces between the particles is the only place water has to go. This is why when an earthquake happens and those spaces compress, the water is forced upwards, creating a soily material not unlike quicksand. Silt as a material (as opposed to a single particle) is also incredibly porous, in that it has large spaces between the particles of quartz/feldspar. Water surrounds these particles easily, which is why rivers carry silt far downstream.

That silty goop at the bottom of puddles is what downtown Seattle is built on. They didn't compact the fill worth a damn. That's why it is the worst. The rest of Seattle is simply on natural as opposed to semi-artificial liquefaction material.

I have one goal set for ST. Don't tell me what my goals are. My goal for ST is to provide efficient, cost effective mass transit for the region. Mass transit can be defined as non-personal modes of transportation designed to move the largest number of people the most distance.

Link has never been efficient or effective. The fact that the UW line, promised and paid for with Sound Move, needed ST1 just to finish proves this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Link does not care about moving the most people the longest distance. If it did, the busses would never have been removed from the Link lines.

"The purpose of transit is to enable people to get where they are going quickly and reliably. Any reduction in traffic is incidental to that goal."

This quote I think may lie at the center of our disagreement. How can one enable people to get where they are going quickly and efficiently without reducing traffic? Are not traffic times how one judges the speed and efficiency of a region's transit? Remember, Link is also part of traffic, and one that is slower than the 194 or even the old 174. If Link is not capable of moving people quickly (and it most certainly is not), how does it fit your very definition of transit?
@ Libertine

Your ideas on subarea equity are wrong. You should look at the history. Metro money and ST money are different things. Each subarea does get what it pays for.

Your understanding of the whole geology/soil mechanics thing needs a refresher. Your description of liquefaction is sort of accurate, but the way you are talking about soils and sediment transport is not correct. Fill and Till are different things. Silt is not "more porous" unless you are comparing it to clays. Braja M Das wrote a good book, I use it and recommend it.

Traffic times are a terrible way to judge a region's transit. By that measure, Missula has a better transit system than New York.
Transit can get people where they are going quickly by being grade separated, meaning they don't ever interact with traffic. Like a subway system. Then it doesn't matter what traffic is like, lots of people can skip it. When ULink opens try it out, you'll see what I mean.

On OM: I don't think I understand what you are saying about splitting the line then. You want them on the same track in the current tunnel, but instead of just continuing to ballard, trains from WS would turn around? What are you saying?
I'm 67 yrs.old,and I think it will take a MIRACLE for the Bertha tunnel to be in USE before I die of old age.Now they talk about more tunnels.This city has its municipal head up its ASS.It is time for the north end of Seattle to seccede and form its own city.
There are a lot of tunnels in Seattle. We have a long history of building them. Bertha just happens to be the most ambitious tunnel project in human history. Might have bit off more than we can chew there.
@37, I am aware that there is a difference between Metro and ST subarea equity. Metro removed subarea equity entirely, where ST does redefined it into oblivion. The truth of the matter is still clear. ST subarea equity is completely unlike any other "subarea equity" ever defined on planet Earth, because the definition they use literally did not exist prior to 2014.

No subarea in the Puget Sound region with the exception of Seattle gets what it pays for right now. Link is simply too Seattle centric for that to be possible. Several of the proposed lines outside Seattle aren't feasible. Putting Link on I-90 will include engineering hurdles uncleared since the beginning of recorded time (fixed rail on a floating bridge). It isn't going to happen. It is a pipe dream sold to Bellevue while Seattle takes Bellevue's money.

Metro's sub area equity was specifically designed to stop this at their level, which is why they removed it entirely. ST never even bothered with such checks and balances.

Till and fill are different, yes. The fill downtown is built on comes from local sources that were both glacial till and silt. Our specific location is a "Yes, and" in this regards, and I fail to see how this is continuing to confuse you, but apparently it is.

Silt is nonporous, period. It is tiny rock. But that means as a material, silt is highly porous. It is rock. It doesn't swell to fill the spaces in between particles, unlike clay. As a soil type, or material, silt is highly porous. You can drive all the construction machines you want over it, and it won't compress to any real degree. It in many ways simply can't. You pour water onto it, and it goes right through. It doesn't matter how compressed it is. That's why in an earthquake, it all pops right back up.

Missoula does have a better transit system than New York. Missoula does a better job of enabling people to get where they are going quickly and reliably. By your own definition Missoula is better. Bringing up population differences only obfuscates the objective reality of the matter.

I live near the ULink line. I will end up taking it within a month of it coming out. I'm willing to bet every penny I have that it will not be as fast as the 43 or the 71, 72, or 73. I've seen this happen with Link already. My family's multi-generational home is in Seatac. I have witnessed firsthand the destruction of local transit that awaits Cap Hill and the U District. I have no reason to believe the northern expansion of Link will be any less of a cluster than the southern expanse.

You are really missing what I'm saying regarding Ballard to West Seattle. I am saying that Ballard trains should stop in downtown, then return to Ballard. same with West Seattle. No deadheading, but using downtown as the point of origin for all lines. This means South Link would stop at ID, and North Link would end at Convention Place. There would be no light rail in the tunnel ideally. There would be busses running through there and a return of the Free Ride Zone.

The best way to run rail in this area is to use Convention Place and King Street/Jackson as transit hubs on both sides of downtown. That's both enough distance that the lines don't interfere with each other and enough proximity that one could traverse the city easily enough. If you really want weird megaroutes that don't begin/end downtown (why would you ever want this?) you can just "touch" downtown, making a Ballard/downtown line that then turns into a downtown/Everett line or something.

Running rail through downtown is counter productive. Few people intentionally move through the heart of city during rush hour. They stick to one side or the other, for obvious reasons.
@39, that's rather hyperbolic, don't you think? Care to prove Seattle has more tunnels than other cities of its size and population? Yes, we do have tunnels here. No, there are not a lot of them. In fact, I'd be willing to bet Seattle has a below average number of tunnels when compared to other cities of its size.
Looking at Las Vegas, I see twice the in-city population with half the metro population and at least 4 times the amount of underground infrastructure. Denver? They've got more underground infrastructure in a single airport than all of Seattle combined (including Underground Seattle). Who has fewer tunnels than Seattle but an equal size outside the Netherlands?
@ libertine
"Running rail through downtown is counter productive. Few people intentionally move through the heart of city during rush hour. They stick to one side or the other, for obvious reasons. "

"Missoula does have a better transit system than New York"

And you think our rail system should bring people almost to their jobs, but not quite. And God help you if you want to transfer lines. I honestly think you're just trolling now, so goodnight.

PS Go ahead and get that book by Das, it is really good.
@19 in what respect do you consider BART to be "horribly unsuccessful"?
@42, even ST thinks our rail systems should only bring people almost to their locations. They should be taking the bus for the last mile or so. Look at all the changes to the Cap Hill and UW busses coming up. That's one of their specific listed goals.

Rail for the long leg, with busses for the last mile. Odd that I'm the one trolling while you're attacking the practices of the group you're defending. ST wants you to transfer lines. God help them and you long before me. Y'all need it just to get your stories straight at this point.
@26 Because it is cheaper to run one train on one line than two trains on two lines? Do we need a separate line for each point we are going to connect? Or perhaps you don't know there will actually be stops between one end and the other?
@libertine your head seems to be full of shit, as I take link twice daily and it is most definitely the fastest way to get from one point to another along its line. The only way you could think that link is slower is to not have ridden it. The bus is faster?! That is such an absurd joke that it makes the rest of your arguments suspect. Jumping in a car is faster than the bus! And link is far faster than a car from one point to another, even in "light" traffic.
@45/46, you have a confusing sense of logic and history. I already answered your question regarding trains and lines to Jon Cracolici. Also, if you had bothered reading the thread, you would have noticed I was on Link, posting to Slog, literally yesterday evening. Please do keep up.

Link light rail, by the schedule, is 2 minutes slower at 1 am than the 174 was at rush hour, 6 minutes slower than the 194 at rush hour. That is just going by its schedule. Using a stopwatch and riding all three routes, I have found that Link is rarely, if ever, on time. Usually it is between 4 and 6 minutes behind schedule.

To put that in words you can understand, Link costs .25 cents more and is usually 2-10 minutes longer than the busses it replaced, depending on the time of day.

Just so you know, I'm currently timing 43 and 71-3 routes because I expect the exact same thing to happen in Cap Hill and the UW. You don't have to take my word on the timings, by the way. You can do most of them yourself, and find some of the others online. I encourage you to do so. You might find the results... illuminating.
Libertine, I admire your patience and forbearance to have to put up with these pathetic challenges from such inferior intellects. The fools.

I just wish that you and Ross and Supreme Ruler of the Universe could get together and design the ideal transportation system for the 21st century and beyond.
@48, while I think the three of us might very well disagree on a number of things, we could easily build a better system. Right now, Seattle's system is so poor elementary school children can do better. That was the case even before Sound Move, and it only gotten worse.
"Bertha is a most ambitious tunnel. Might have bit off more than we can chew there," Cracolici admits. Plan B for Bertha is a ~2000' extension along the seawall to a Pike/Pine portal. The Battery St Tunnel is extended to Harrison per DEIS studies, similarly reconnecting the grid at Aurora. Lower Belltown access is maintained thus displacing least Interbay/Ballard traffic onto a rebuilt Alaskan Way. Not that complicated and covered in the FEIS. Plan B route makes a stronger seawall.

Bertha proposed will destroy Seattle as water-laden till/fill liquifies in the Big One. Settling meantime undermines building foundations along the bore tunnel entire length, assholes. Wsdot business interests, led by spoiled billionaires, despise Seattle liberals better off dead to their thinking, like rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina. What American city will next face
their nazi guillitine?
Don't quote me unless you actually quote me. Especially since computers make that so easy. Its Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V.

Also, just wow.
@22 "West Seattle has balked and dragged its feet at just about every effort to add the kind of density that makes light rail make sense."

Except that we have three Urban Village zones that any developer could build up and develop. Because they haven't has nothing to do with the West Seattle, it's market stuff. The Junction area and east of it down to Avalon are rapidly densifying. The rest will come once it's economical.

All the mythical "West Seattle opposition" is loud complaining by cranks and people who aggressively use the lawful design review process to eke out small changes in projects. Yes, a NIMBY group in the Avalon area did win one lawsuit/hearing thing, but that was 100% the fault of DPD bending and ignoring the rules on one project.
Editing for clarity/brevity is a good thing, acurately quoting what's worth quoting. Sorry, but this dire prediction began before the acceptance of the bore tunnel option in 2009. I'm NOT sorry about having to rustle chickenshit feathers. The seawall as proposed is also weaker and more vulnerable to severe earthquake damage than Wsdot would have us believe. Typical Seattle business interests cutting corners and ending up with higher costs and worse outcomes. Plan B makes the stronger seawall, the safer tunnel, and the least displaced traffic onto miserable surface streets. Only initial costs are higher and worse construction disruption wise. More tunnels under Seattle is insanely dangerous.
Dude, you don't get to edit people's quotes without putting in .... and () to let people know that's not what they said. Ctrl C then Ctrl V. Use it next time.
I suppose the Nazi comment was over the top, but it sprang from the basis that the human race has always suffered from class warfare; among the Gates, Buffetts and Bin Ladens of the world there exists those who looking down judge all others as if not useful, then disposable. I see globalization as their end game; their means to make whole populations so dependent upon trade that any disruption of essential trade goods results in starvation-execution. Thus, Wsdot transportation planners promote global trade to control population, and will NOT devise means to manage traffic because this inexorably promotes autonomous (self-sustaining) local and regional economic development. Wsdot plans to destroy Seattle with the Bertha Tunnel.
Look otherwise decent fellows/ladies, progressives, environmentally conscientious Seattlers, (earn the modern ‘ite’ before using it). Truly sorry for my slaps across the face to wake the hell you up, to of course this dreadful tragedy the tunnel undoubtedly poses and bring about. Can you imagine this prospect being ignored by my own and your betters, professionals who pretend their absence of concern isn’t tantamount to heresy or something worse?

Imagine historic buildings collapsing. Imagine unexpected modern buildings falling too and many more falling to the bulldozer after extreme settling CANNOT be controlled nor stopped! That charge cannot be honestly ignored, as so many of you have, adding insult to supposedly emphasize supposed superiority.

Why bother with Mr L’s completed electric downtown design study results? It’s ALL electric, what more do you need you know to assume positive results. Cost? Don’t bother with money already NOT being spent well. The seawall is weak. Should more money be spent strengthening it? Naw, just plug the thing together purdy and don't mention structure integrity stuff.
Truly, I am afraid of Buffet, Bryant, Wyatt, and entire West Coast Port Authority leadership,
Balkanization and horrible rail transport prosects, much much worse in Washington than in Oregon. I must again make these charges near the 23rd, D-Day.
The people building the new seawall and ‘seawalk’ do not see why it faces early deterioration and inevitable damage. Seattle is being lied to, deceived, horribly mislead in transportation planning;
Sort of a 1-step Forward, 2-steps Back sort of problem.

Seattle’s Seattlers,
I present to you your future:
Disastrous? or Excellent?
Stop Bertha as proposed.
You’re nuts to let it happen.
Stop Bertha as proposed by the 23rd
THEN have a merry christmas new year.
oh, and, you Stranger guys: fuck you
Any proposal that puts trains in the middle of the street, stuck in traffic, unable to move, is a bad idea.
Didn't we learn our lesson with the Toonerville Trolley to the airport? And the Toonerville Trolley to Paul AllenTown, where the affordable Cascade Neighborhood used to be? They can't move any faster than 15 MPH on average, even though the trains and the track could easily handle 60 to 80 MPH.
Look at the SkyTrain in Vancouver. Look at the trains ( I forget what they're called ) on the median strip of the freeway in Portland. Look at BART. People use them, because they get you where you're going faster than you can drive.
Oh, and both Vancouver and Portland have heavily used park-and-ride lots at the train stations. I think BART does, too. If you don't believe we need them, you probably believe in the tooth fairy.
The abject failure of "bus rapid transit" proved that 100 percent grade separation is absolutely essential to any proposed rail system.
AgentSmith, et al, cross-county, controlled-crossing light rail systems are successful around the world and the US. So Seatle's MLK Blvd crossing for non-motorists is much better than the grubby race track it was.

Mult-modal integration, LOTi (intermodal). Mr L's oft-submitted/presented Seattle Circulator Plan, got neither public nor an informal fair review. Mr L questions of "structural integrity" conclude inequivacably that the Bertha DBTunnel (as proposed) is too deep, too far north below sea level, in unstable soils, water channels/tables, to closs to vulnerable and modern buildings above.
A "sump" newly created, water channel deeper than natural, combining smaller channels along its length.
Water volume below "unaturally increased" leaving
weak surface soils more vulnerable full tunnel length.
Sea level reaches near Battery/Blanchard;
Suppose this 'water channel' hypothesis proves true.
That is Full Length damage to historic and modern buildings above, unexpected sudden collapse in earthquake. (chiknshts!)

AgentSmith, forget it. Seattle trusts incompetent peers, many holdovers from (twice fired) Crunican a supposedly big DOT pro, and might be doing BART harm and smiling about it. 1 step forward, 2 steps back.
Blame Wsdot for the CRC mess.
Fine ODOT finished work in '10.
Wsdot tried to 'defer' Marine Dr to 'make' the budget, but kept all 5 Vancouver intechange rebuilds, none needed near as much as Marine Dr. Why Wsdot do this? Answer: Proposes neglect to Port of Portland, corners market. Why ship Canada Pem propone thru your state to Oregon. Why the long transport? Again, it neglects Port of Portland. Bill Bryant is a jerk. His buddy Billy Wyatt has little to show for his years in office.

Bertha will eat Seattle.
quite simply light rail will go wherever paul allen decides to build ..every one else will just have to wait