Every Single Damn Thing About West Seattle/Ballard Light Rail Is Extremely Important

Comments

1

There's no survey at the link provided.

2

I really like The Stranger. I really do. But your reporting on transit issues is abysmal. It really is.

The most important issues with West Seattle to Ballard rail are cost and station placement. An underground line costs a lot, and gets us nothing, unless it gets us a better station. That won't happen in West Seattle. It could happen in Ballard, if they ran the line to 20th Ave. NW. But they won't. So the choice becomes a mediocre station at 15th, or a terrible station at 14th. In both cases, it should be elevated, to save people time, and money.

That is why this survey is bullshit. It never deals with what is actually important. It is not worth writing about.

What is worth writing about is Seattle Transportation Benefit District funding, which is about to run out. The mayor and Alex Pedersen want to cut the funding in half. Pedersen, as you may remember, publicly opposed ST3 funding as well as Metro funding in the past. Not because of some issue with the proposals, but because he doesn't like taxes. Meanwhile, Tammy Morales wants to keep funding roughly the same. She has proposed a 0.2% sales tax, instead of a 0.1% tax. This would mean that someone buying something for a hundred bucks pays an extra dime. A thousand dollar purchase costs an extra dollar. You get the picture. Funding bus service at current levels is the least we can do for the folks that provide the overwhelming majority of transit in this city -- the bus drivers. When we come out of this pandemic, we want those buses to come frequently, and we want the surviving drivers -- who drove essential personnel to their jobs -- to still have jobs.

I understand your love affair with trains. I like them too. But there is no shame in taking a bus. A hundred years from now, the majority of people in this city that take transit will do so on a bus. Both trains and buses are important, and this month, the important debate is about bus service. We should have more of it.

3

Ross: "A hundred years from now, the majority of people in this city that take transit will do so on a bus." I'll bet you a hundred bucks that's not the case, and I'm prepared to hunt you down to collect on that debt in the year 2120, kinda like Stallone and Snipes in "Demolition Man," even though by 2120 I'm sure $100 won't be worth much. I'll just be doing it for the principle.

Anyway, I'd rather not frame this as light rail vs. buses. Even though there's a finite amount of money, these are effectively two separate tracks. For me it's about continuing to fund bus service at current levels. And when it comes to light rail, it's about making sure we avoid cutting corners, even if it means extending timelines.

Now, if push came to shove and I had to choose between the two, I would pick investing in light rail. So that's where we differ.

4

Ross @2: "The mayor and Alex Pedersen want to cut the funding in half. Pedersen, as you may remember, publicly opposed ST3 funding as well as Metro funding in the past."

Ross, to be fair, you too opposed ST3, in the typical Seattle spirit of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. If I recall correctly, you couldn't stop mentioning the unthinkable outrage of placing a light rail station in Fife.

(Ah, if I had a dime for every time Ross mentioned Fife in 2016. I might be able to collect on that $100 debt ahead of time, and before the inflation kicks in.)