Dozens of New Light Rail Stations Are About to Open, and So Are My Legs

Comments

1

Wow, I'd lost track of this. Yet another wonderful thing to look forward to in 2021, although, let's face it, nothing compares to the vaccines. Not even Amtrak Joe.

My concern now is that, even as the population gets inoculated, there's going to be a misperception that mass transit isn't vital anymore. Yes, there will be more working from home than before, but people are still going to need a convenient, reliable way to get around the city and the region, and there's only so much you can scale out electric vehicles. Plus, there are problems like congestion that EVs don't address. Speaking as a happy EV owner myself. Unless we resign ourselves to gridlock and a situation where people have to spend inordinate amounts of their income on transportation, we're going to continue to need more mass transit, even if that arc won't be reaching as high as it otherwise would have with no pandemic.

Of course, the other concern is the reduced tax revenue due to the pandemic.

Put these two concerns together, and the issue now isn't with the lines that are opening. It's with the Sound Transit 3 lines like Ballard and West Seattle where planning is underway. There's going to be intense pressure to water down these lines to the point where they're little more than fatally flawed glorified streetcars. And remember, it doesn't matter how much success Sound Transit continues to have with light rail, the doubters will never, ever go away.

2

From Kent to Lynnwood by 2024 - but you can't get from Ballard to Capitol Hill until 2035.

3

And then the High Speed Rail from Vancouver BC to San Diego CA will open on the Eastside

4

Matt, link will have to remain operational till at least 2am in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays for it to be useful for people commuting from the outlying burbs to Neumos. I'm not sure if Sound Transit has such foresight as of yet for there are plans to use the weekend to close earlier for maintenance.

@2, there are rumblings that West Seattle and Ballard links may be delayed due to revenue shortfalls due to covid-19. Cross your fingers on the opening years.

@1, With West Seattle, what I'm reading is that there is pressure to reduce the number of stops to provide money for a tunnel, for there is a nimby crowd that doesn't want an elevated structure running through Alaska Junction for it would destroy the "Mayberry" ambience and take some homes out. I doubt taking a stop or stops away would make a difference financially for a tunnel, but doesn't stop the pleading.

5

No plan to fast-track the Climate Pledge Arena station? The Kraken start playing in a year so it would be nice to not have to wait for 2035 to be able to use Mercer on 41 home game nights/year, plus whatever other events they may have there.

6

Love the enthusiasm, I'm pretty jazzed myself.
I'm 66 and have waited a long, long time for this.
It will be a big boost of self-confidence for the whole region when those 28 (!!! indeed) stations open.

7

Fulsome, much?

8

@2 Fifteen years? Surely you exaggerate. My last trip from Ballard to Capitol Hill only took 11 years.

10

@9: Investments in infrastructure are not boondoggles that damage the economy. Far from it.

11

Just to state the obvious, there's something else serendipitous about the planned September opening of the Northgate Extension. By that time there should be enough people who have been vaccinated that it will be opening just as there's a groundswell of people wanting to take transit again.

neo-realist @4, I wouldn't be thrilled with the Ballard and West Seattle lines being delayed from their already epochal timelines due to revenue shortfalls. But I'll take that over downsizing and cutting corners due to revenue shortfalls.

I don't have a good read on the debate over how to do the West Seattle line. I know I would have no objection whatsoever to going elevated through Alaska Junction, and FWIW, I'd feel that way if I lived there. Actually especially if I lived there! If I were living there, I'd want a line as rapid and reliable as possible, and delivered as swiftly as possible.

12

A Trump voter complaining about the Democrats increasing the deficit?
Har, har har!

13

This indeed, wonderful news, Matt. Finally the bumper-to-bumper gridlock on I-5 / I-405, etc., will be dramatically reduced, getting most of us in the Puget Sound region to and from where we need to go. Kudos for another great and uplifting article.

@9: Spewing still more senseless Trumpage spiral gibberish, Doofy? Begone before you draw more of Pence's flies.

@12 pat L (re @9): Doofy can't help himself. He "learned" it on FOX TeeVee. lol

14

@12 - Exactly. Would be funny except that, like everything else Trump touches, it's just SAD.

And the "base of Puget Sound" is more like Olympia than Federal Way.

16

Not to mention, everyone who lives and works around the school will have an 8-minute ride into the city, which means a flood of college kids shopping and playing and hanging out all over Seattle.

FTFY

17

Not to mention, everyone who lives and works around the school will have an 8-minute ride into the city, which means a flood of college kids (who don't mind competing for living space with an army of drugged out, mentally ill vgrants) shopping and playing and hanging out all over Seattle.

20

@17: Will we be able to tell the difference?